The COVID-19 pandemic that is currently affecting all of us raises questions for parents about their custody arrangement. Because of the confusion caused by this uncertain situation, Texas courts have addressed how parents should be handling custody during this time. Here is the basic guidance from the state:
Follow your order
Although things are dramatically different now than they were two months ago, your possession order remains the same. You are still bound by the court order and must abide by the provisions within it. The only way to deviate from the terms of your possession order is by agreement with the other parent of your child. If you cannot reach an agreement, you must make every effort to comply with your order. This includes following terms for regular times and location for the exchange of your child.
School closures, working from home, the inability to travel, and exposure to the virus, can make following your order difficult. Remember to keep the best interest of your child in mind if you need to make arrangements with the other conservator of your child for a temporary change to your possession schedule for your child’s and your own health and safety.
Go by the originally published school schedule
If your order has provisions stating your possession begins “at the time that school is dismissed” or provides for weekend possession periods extended by school holidays, you may be wondering how that works while schools are closed. The Supreme Court of Texas has ordered that school closures due to the pandemic will not change possession schedules. While school is in session, you should operate based on the school calendar for you child’s school, even if your child is not attending that school in person currently.
Court orders may be modified
If you have a current order that is not working for you, you can file a suit to modify that order. Nothing in the state’s guidance prevents a conservator from filing a modification or a court from entering emergency temporary orders or new final orders. If you think your order needs to be modified, contact our office to speak with an experienced family law attorney.
Questions about child custody during COVID-19?
Reach out to the family law attorneys at Lovelace Law P.C. in Burleson and Fort Worth. Our experienced, dependable team can help you find the best solution for you and your children.