This blog is a continuation on the topic of the Coronavirus and how it has impacted the world of family law here in Tarrant County family courts, and courts throughout Texas.
Because our routines and schedules have been so greatly impacted by our current situation, the question on a lot of parent’s minds is: how does “shelter in place” affect, if at all, possession and access, or visitation of children. The short answer is: it does not change it at all.
As we saw previously with the Spring Break vacation coinciding with school closures during, a parent’s possession was not affected by the provision in Texas family code regarding possession extended by a holiday. In other words, no change in the possession schedule. The same is true now.
On March 24th the Supreme Court of Texas handed down an emergency declaration, stating that possession and access to a child shall not be affected by any shelter-in-place order or any order restricting movement during the Covid-19 crisis. A better way to put it is that the terms in the original court order control. In other words, nothing changes.
Of course, the parties can agree on any changes by mutual agreement. Things get a little muddy when you imagine the scenario where one parent is diagnosed with Coronavirus or exhibiting symptoms of Coronavirus. This would be the perfect time to make such an agreement. However, as it stands now, in the absence of any agreed change or modification, both parents must abide by the court’s original order. Pick-ups and drops off remain the same.
Hopefully, things will return to normal as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you have any questions, or need any assistance, please give us a call.