Lebanon, PA asked in Child Custody for Pennsylvania

Q: My custody order allows an expanded or altered schedule. Could the PA stay at home order fall under this provision?

This custody order is outdated; the original schedule fit within the circumstances that I was in at the time the order was put in place, but no longer does. One thing that has not changed is that I have primary physical custody, the father has partial custody and we share legal custody. As stated before, there is a provision that allows an expanded or altered schedule other then the schedule that was originally put in place, only upon mutual agreement and this we have done for about right years now. The father as well as the grandfather (who lives in the same house) have some serious health problems, and could be more at risk for contracting the cornovirus. Could this expanded or altered schedule provision be considered a part of the custody order and therefore allow me to keep my girls at home under the stay at home order?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Norristown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: I'd say no, because the key here is "mutual agreement." If you two can agree to something other than what's written in the original Order -- and you say that you've already done this -- then no harm/no foul if no one's complaining. But it doesn't sound like it gives you the right to unilaterally change anything.

My advice is to discuss things with your ex and continue to try to reach agreements. It's highly possible that he won't want to place his own elderly father at risk by having any visitors at all. Otherwise, if you withhold the children, you'd be in violation of the Order and subject to contempt of court -- that is, IF he goes to the trouble of filing an emergency petition with the court in these uncertain and restricted times.

Best of luck to you.

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