The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging time for parents and families. Wisconsin recently started a Safer at Home policy that has changed routines and schedules. Children are no longer attending school or extracurricular activities, and many parents are now working from home. Unfortunately, some parents are using the uncertainty and safety concerns posed by COVID-19 to violate custody and placement orders.
In Wisconsin, once an agreement or order regarding custody and placement is entered, it is up to you to enforce the order if your co-parent is in violation. There are many types of violations and challenges occurring during this unique period of time, but some examples include:
· A parent refusing to exchange the child and claiming the child is safer with them or that they aren’t allowed to leave the house.
· A parent not making wise custodial decisions when there is the risk of infection or when someone in the household gets the virus.
· Parents in conflict because exchanges took place at school and that is no longer an option.
Section 15(e) of the Safer at Home policy states that transporting children pursuant to a custody agreement is essential travel. This means that parents and children are allowed to leave home in order to follow a placement schedule. Both parent’s homes are the child’s home, and it is in the child’s best interest to spend time with both parents as long as it is safe to do so. Parents are encouraged to be flexible and cooperative with each other as modifications to the normal routine are likely necessary. If you have questions about the best practices for custody and placement during the pandemic, please read Seven Guidelines for Parents Sharing Custody During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
If your co-parent parent denies one or more periods of physical placement or otherwise interferes with placement, you will need to bring a motion to enforce placement. Wisconsin courts are required to hear motions to enforce placement within 30 days of service. Although the courts are impacted by the pandemic, they are now scheduling motions to be heard by telephone and using videoconferencing.
Probst Law Offices can assist you in enforcing custody and placement orders during Coronavirus. If this is happening to you, it is important to act quickly to enforce your rights. If you have questions about custody and placement or need to start a court action please contact our office for immediate assistance and a free initial consultation at 414-210-3135.