ATTENTION ALL CLIENT'S AND CO-PARENTS:
All Family Law Section members should have access to the summary, as well as the full text, of Governor Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order, 2020-20, issued March 23, 2020. Links to both are included below:
Link to full text
Link to summary
The provisions are effective at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24.
With regard to the effect on parenting time orders, this Executive Order is consistent with the prior Supreme Court Statement that parents are obligated to continue to follow their orders. Governor Whitmer has ordered that transporting children for parenting time exchanges to comply with court orders or agreements is an exception to the "Stay Home" mandate.
Please urge your clients to continue to comply with court orders, or secure agreement with the other parent if there is actual COVID-19 in one home, but not the other, or specific facts in your case warrant such an agreement. Increased use of telephone and video communication should be strongly encouraged as part of the agreement where a child is not able to continue parenting time. The provision of make-up parenting time should also be assured if parenting time cannot continue pursuant to the order.
A draft letter to clients, provided by Richard Roane, Warner, Norcross + Judd, is available here (Word format) and repeated at the end of this message.
Check your local courts' websites and the most recent Family Law Journal for instructions to join the listserv. Both will help you stay up to date on best practices specifically applicable to your clients/cases.
Chair, Family Law Section
Chapter President, AAML, Michigan Chapter