COVID-19 Custody Stipulation and Order

December 16, 2020

Vasiliki Gouliaberis, Esquire

Family Law Department

Eckell Sparks Law Firm


In order to preserve the best interest of a child, parents and their attorneys spend countless hours drafting, negotiating, and ultimately agreeing to adopt a custody order. While parents may seek to preserve such a painstakingly negotiated order, circumstances arise wherein updating said order is necessary. Co-parenting during an international pandemic would be one such circumstance.

As a parent in 2020, you may find that your child’s other parent has failed to appreciate the magnitude of the ongoing pandemic and is effectively risking the health and safety of your child. As such, you are entitled to seek modification of your present custody order or pursue an amicable Stipulation and Order.

A Stipulation is a signed agreement between parties that is submitted to the court for its approval and subsequent designation as an Order. Stipulations in Custody are often submitted to address a mutually desired change in custody. For example, you may draft and submit a stipulation seeking a change in your custodial schedule or in the location of your custody exchange. A judge then reviews this stipulation and issues a binding order, thereby effectuating your agreement. While such a stipulation has the full force and effect of a custody order it does not necessarily supersede a custody order and can, instead, act as an addendum to it.

If you believe that your child is at risk for exposure to COVID-19, implementing a Stipulation and Order, which addresses your COVID-19 related concerns, may be prudent. While such a stipulation can be tailored to your specific routine, habits, and boundaries, it can also be a document outlining the basic social-distancing guidelines we have all been tasked to undertake. A Stipulation and Order aimed to address COVID-19 related concerns can provide both parents mutual assurance that your child will remain healthy and safe during this pandemic. However, should the other parent refuse to implement such a stipulation, you may also petition the court to intervene through a Petition for Special Relief and/or Modification of your current custody order.

If you feel that your child is at risk for exposure to COVID-19, contact the Family Law department at Eckell Sparks to discuss these options.

A Message to Our Customers About Coronavirus COVID-19:

A Message to Our Clients About Coronavirus COVID-19:

We want to assure everyone that during this unprecedented and difficult time, we are still operating and will continue to meet all the legal needs of the residents of the Delaware Valley. While the Governor’s recent orders have restricted the operations of some businesses, Eckell Sparks has deployed a variety of applications and hardware that allows both our attorneys and our support staff to confer with clients remotely, provide consultations to those seeking legal advice, and continue to provide the high level of legal services to our clients as we have always done. For more than 50 years, our Firm has been a force in the Delaware Valley legal community. And by now also leveraging technology, we will continue to do so both during, and after, the current public health emergency.

So, if you need us, we are here. Are you an employer and don’t know what to do under all the new Corona-virus laws being passed in Washington? Were you injured in a car accident either before, or during, the current crisis? Call or email us. We can help. www.eckellsparks.com 610-565-3700.

Stay safe out there.