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Posted on: March 26, 2020

Update Concerning Family Court Cases During COVID-19

The 3rd Judicial District’s family judges are committed to ensuring court orders are followed and the best interest of every child is foremost in all of our decisions.  We are receiving a surge in calls as many families seek to understand what the Shawnee County Stay-Home Order and District Court Administrative Orders mean for their case.

As we work to execute Administrative Orders effective March 13th and 20th, 2020 the following guidance is provided:

Existing Parenting Plans

The Emergency Order of Local Health Officer specifically defines an essential activity as any action necessary to comply with valid court orders.  Parenting plans, including exchanges of minor children between parents, remain valid court orders, previously found to be in the minor children’s best interests.  Joint legal custody parents may make other agreements they deem to be in the children’s best interests.  Court ordered exchanges shall occur as stated in the parenting plan unless the parents agree otherwise in writing.  Family courts remain open for emergency issue only.  Contact your division if you need further guidance.

Specialized Services

Supervised parenting time through third-party providers shall continue as long as third-party providers remain open and operational or if it can be done remotely or virtually.  Parents shall be cooperative and flexible with each other and their service providers as protocols are modified.

Supervised exchanges through third-party providers shall continue as long as third-party providers remain open and operational and shall be done in compliance with Department of Health Guidelines.  Parents shall be cooperative and flexible with each other and their service providers as protocols are modified. 

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