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Orange County Florida Issues Timesharing Order for COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place

As you may be aware, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings issued an order requiring residence to stay at home beginning Thursday night. The order allows travel for essential business, including trips to work, the grocery store, or pharmacy. Additionally, residents are allowed to exercise outside, but are discouraged from doing so in groups. However, the order does not provide any guidance as to whether parents are allowed to exchange their children pursuant to a parenting plan or timesharing schedule.

In response to the recent order from the Mayor, Chief Judge Don Myers, issued an Amended Emergency Order for all Domestic cases in Orange and Osceola Counties. The order provides guidance as to how timesharing shall take place if the Governor of Florida or any other government official issues a shelter in place order. A complete copy of the Order can be found here: Amended Emergency Temporary Standing AO

Essentially the order provides that the parties shall work together to make decisions that are in the best interest of the children. However, if the parties cannot agree, the parent with majority timesharing, meaning 183 overnights or more, shall keep the children until the shelter-in-place order is lifter or a further court order is entered. In the even that one parent keeps the children for the entirety or majority of the shelter-in-place order, the court will have the ability to award the other parent make-up timesharing once the shelter-in-place order is lifted. All parties are to otherwise follow the parenting plan to the best of their ability, unless otherwise agreed upon, if there is no shelter-in-place order in effect.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please give our office a call as we are happy to discuss any timesharing issues that may arise.