The current COVID-19 pandemic is creating a new sense of normal. Many people may be wondering how the COVID-19 will impact their parenting time. What are you allowed or not allowed to do? For all co-parents, it is important to understand the executive and court orders regarding your parenting time to insure you are operating within the law.

Following Stay-at-Home Executive Orders

As the pandemic progresses, many states have implemented different executive orders. These orders come directly from the governor or president. Failure to follow them may result in criminal penalties and fines. Some states, including Minnesota, have implemented “Shelter-In-Place” or “Stay-at-Home” orders. In many of the orders, a provision protects current parenting time schedules and allows for the transportation of children pursuant to an existing court order. The Shelter-In-Place order may limit what you can do during your parenting time in an effort to decrease your contact with non-household members. For example, you may be prohibited from going to the movies or attending a sports event with your child. However, you are to continue abiding by your order regarding parenting time exchanges. If you do not, you may be at risk for contempt of court, sanctions, court costs, and attorney’s fees.

Maintaining Court Orders

While your agreement may not outline the specifics of parenting through a pandemic, your order should establish when each parent is “on-duty” or “off-duty.” Orders also may include specifics regarding who is responsible when the child is sick or out of school. It is a good idea to review your court order paperwork to insure you understand your obligations and rights. If you are unsure the specifics of your situation, consult our office regarding the language in your order and your obligations under it.

Creating Temporary Agreements

You must abide by court orders unless both parents agree to different temporary parenting time. This unprecedented time calls for some sense of flexibility. Children may be out of school or require assistance with their online schoolwork. Depending on occupations, parents may have extended hours, they may be working from home, or they may be off of work. Schedules may vary. Temporary arrangements to be enforceable need to be drafted by lawyers and signed by Judges.  They should be used to meet the unique needs of your family during this pandemic.

Every custody matter is different. If you would like more information or have questions about your specific parenting time arrangement, contact our office today. Our legal team is there to help at 763-323-6555 or by submitting an online inquiry submission on our website.

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Photo of Jason Brown Jason Brown

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated with honors from Mankato State University in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has…

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated with honors from Mankato State University in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has successfully litigated against some of the more recognized family law attorneys in the Twin Cities. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, and one of the Top 100 Family Law Attorneys in Minnesota by the Society of Legal Advocates.

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Jason serves as a mediator, and court-appointed early neutral evaluator, in divorce and family law cases throughout Minnesota. He frequently writes and speaks concerning divorce and family law issues, including several invitations to present seminars for the Minnesota Judicial Branch in St. Paul.

Beyond family law, Jason has represented hundreds of clients accused of a serious crime, including arson, fraud, unauthorized computer access, burglary, felony strangulation and obstruction of justice. He also provides estate planning services.

Local media appearances by Jason include WCCO Radio, KARE 11 Television, Fox 9 Television and WCCO Television. His national media appearances include NBC News, Time Magazine, USA Today and the Huffington Post.

Jason is the former chairperson of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota Trial Lawyer’s Association, and taught divorce and family law coursework within the paralegal program at North Hennepin Community College. He publishes the Minnesota Family Law Blog, which has been recognized as a “Top 25″ by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Outside of the office, Jason enjoys playing the bass and electric guitar and spending time in the north woods of Wisconsin.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Adoption
  • Restraining Orders
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Notable Cases
  • Representation of Four Grandparents in Minnesota’s First Quad-Parenting Adoption
  • Representation of Client in Minnesota’s First Same-Sex Divorce
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota State Bar, 2000
  • US District Court – District of Minnesota, 2002
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 2000
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato, 1997
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper