CHILD CUSTODY, CARE OR VISITATION DURING COVID-19
Many people have asked questions regarding how to handle the child related provisions of their previously filed Court Order regarding custody, care and visitation during the current COVID-19 situation. On Saturday, March 28, 2020, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a Supervisory Order regarding this matter. The Iowa Supreme Court has stated that prior orders regarding custody, visitation or care schedules that are related to school/summer schedules shall be uniformly interpreted to refer to the school schedule where the child attended prior to any school closure caused by COVID-19. The Supreme Court went on to state that the schedule the child should follow, for custody, care and visitation purposes is the schedule that would be in place if school was in session and that schedule shall not be impacted or modified simply because of the school closure. The Court went on to state that a school closure caused by the COVID-19 virus does not extend or modify custody, care or visitation beyond any period designated in a prior order. The school closure, caused by COVID-19, does not amount to an extension of a spring break or the beginning of summer break. The Court stated that if a parent is currently violating a Court Order by failure to return the child to the other parent due to a misguided conception that the schedule has changed due to the school closure associated with the COVID-19 virus, the child should be immediately returned in conjunction with the prior court order.
We realize this language can be somewhat confusing, therefore, if you need assistance in understanding the Supervisory Order, or how it may pertain to you, please feel free to contact Simpson Legal Group, LLC at (712) 256-9899.