Some guidance from the South Carolina Governor on visitation in the COVID-19 era

A few weeks ago I blogged about visitation denial in the COVID-19 era, as many of my clients had questions on whether they could deny or demand visitation. More than a few South Carolina parents have used this crisis as a justification to deny visitation. That blog was an acknowledgment of my uncertainty and an attempt to predict what factors the family court might consider in addressing contempt allegations once they reopened for business.

On April 6, 2020, our Governor, Henry McMaster, issued Executive Order No. 2020-21, which is better known as his “Stay at Home” order. That order provides specific guidance on this issue. At page 8 of the order in Section E(7), it lists as an “Essential Activity” [meaning it is not subject to travel restrictions] “Traveling as required by law, to include attending any court proceedings and transporting children as required by court order or custody agreement.” Evidently, the Governor considers complying with visitation orders to be an essential activity.

Given this order, I do not see how any South Carolina family court judge could subsequently excuse a parent for denying visitation solely on the basis of this pandemic. Parents who do so, and attorneys who encourage them to do so, are inviting contempt.

Put Mr. Forman’s experience, knowledge, and dedication to your service for any of your South Carolina family law needs.

Retain Mr. Forman

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