Many clients have contacted our office regarding whether they should continue to exchange children under their existing parenting schedule or custody order in light of the shelter at home order mandated in the State of Tennessee. The short answer is yes, parties should continue to follow their court-ordered schedules if/until such time as the government mandate is further modified or there is an order in their particular case or county modifying travel related to parenting schedules.
Presently Executive Order 23 and Executive Order 22 issued by Governor Lee define "essential travel" to include that which is related to child exchganges in a court ordered parenting plan or custody order. Essential travel is permitted under the shelter at thome order. This means that you should continue to follow the provisions of your particular plan or order for the time being.
If you believe the other parent or custodian involved in your particular case presents a heightened risk of harm to your child/children due to their potential exposure to the Corona virus, you should not take matters into your own hand and halt visitation. Instead, contact our office or your attorney to discuss whether appropriate grounds exist to file an emergency motion to temporarily modify your parenting schedule.
Failure to abide by court orders may result in contempt; which could lead to a $50.00 fine and 10 days in jail per occurence and award of attorney fees to the prevailing party.