The Michigan Facemask Requirement for Children and its legal impact on Custody

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new Gatherings and Face Mask Order effective April 19, 2021, through May 24, 2021, replacing the previous order which includes provisions related to children wearing masks. What impact could this have on child custody and visitation?

Pursuant to the new order, Face masks are required at all gatherings. Effective April 26, 2021, childcare organizations and camps must not allow gatherings unless face masks are worn by all staff, a good-faith effort is made to ensure that children from two to four years of age wear masks when participating in gatherings, and children five years of age and older wear a mask when participating in gatherings. Participants in gatherings for exercise, group fitness, or organized sports must comply with the MDHHS’s Interim Guidance for Athletics issued April 16, 2021. The order’s exceptions to the face mask requirements include children under the age of two and individuals engaging in an activity that requires them to remove their mask and are “in a facility that provides ventilation that meets or exceeds 60 ft3/min of outdoor airflow per person,” as well as individuals “at a residential gathering where all persons are fully vaccinated and not experiencing the principal symptoms of COVID-19.”

Pursuant to MCL 722.23, the Family Court refers to the best interests factors to determine which custody and visitation arrangements are in the child’s best interest. The court may consider whether a parent is in violation of the law. Factor “(f) The moral fitness of the parties involved” and “(l) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.” Therefore if you sent your child to an event you should make sure to take the proper precautions and determine whether the event is in compliance with MDHHS rules and that your child has a mask when participating. 

If you are concerned about your custody or visitation rights, contact Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law for a consultation. 

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