In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb declared a statewide public health emergency on March 6, 2020. On March 23, Governor Holcomb issued a "shelter-in-place" order (Executive Order 20-08) urging Indiana residents to stay home unless travel is essential.
For most people, this simply means to stay home unless traveling to work, to the grocery store, or other essential services.
Indiana parents may be worried that the shelter-in-place order will impact parenting time and their ability to care for their children. Two provisions in the Executive Order (Paragraphs 16(b) and (e)) define transporting children pursuant to a custody order or agreement, and to care for minors and dependents, as essential travel.
What does the shelter-in-place order mean for Indiana families?
The court orders the following under Executive Order 20-08:
- Custody and parenting time: The existing court orders will still remain in place during COVID-19. They won't be affected by school closures. Temporary modifications to existing court orders during COVID-19 may be filed with the court. Filing for a temporary modification may not be necessary if both parents or legal guardians can reach an agreement, however.
- Child support: While existing court orders regarding child support will remain in place, many county child support offices will be closed during this time, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Child support payments must be made online, by phone, by mail, or at one of the open locations listed by the Indiana Department of Child Services, Child Support Bureau. If you're unable to make a child support payment due to COVID-19, you may file an emergency petition with the court.
- Protection orders: It's recommended that petitions for protection orders are filed electronically. A tutorial on how to file can be found here.
Our family law attorneys are here to help during COVID-19
The attorneys at Hocker & Associates can help you determine what is appropriate for your family. While many businesses are closed throughout Indiana, our law office will still be open to help new and existing clients. We'll be offering free 15-minute legal consultations over the phone during this time.
We can also arrange consultation through Skype, as well as prepare legal documents and file them with the court electronically.
Our law firm handles cases involving:
We know that each case is unique and will provide the best possible service to our clients. Contact us online or call us at 877-626-7725 to get started.