The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are unlike anything we have ever encountered in our lifetime. With all the stay-at-home orders in place across the country, many are questioning what is allowed under these new guidelines. The short answer is, yes, you must continue to comply with your child custody order and make the children reasonably available for visitation. You should also be more communicative with your co-parent at this time, especially if you have concerns about the health and safety of your children.
Below is the official statewide order issued by the Texas Supreme Court:
- A person’s right to the possession of and access of a child under a court-ordered possession schedule is not affected by shelter-in-place orders or any other government-issued orders designed to restrict movement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As you can see, stay-in-place orders do not prevent parents from seeing their children during this crisis. However, you should consider coordinating with your former spouse about what you should each do if either of you or the children become ill. Having this discussion now will help simplify things later if a worst-case-scenario occurs. Moreover, if necessary, you can alter the possession schedule by agreement on an emergency basis.
Adjusting the Parenting Plan
Although you should both do your best to comply with the parenting plan, this is an unusual situation and, if you can, it would be in your children’s best interests to reduce tension and conflict by trying to be flexible with your co-parent. Children are home from school and some parents may still have to leave their home for work if they are performing essential jobs. Therefore, it may not be practical or possible to follow the parenting plan as it is.
If both of you have concerns about your children’s health due to an immunodeficiency disorder, consider lessening their exposure to the outside world by scheduling video chats instead of visitation. Of course, this is a difficult time for everyone, but you should both put the best interests of your children first and do what you can to keep them safe.
Remember, this situation will not last forever, so if the two of you can work out a temporary solution that will work throughout the pandemic, it would be immensely helpful and far less stressful for your children. However, if this is not possible, you should consult with an attorney regarding your next steps.
Discuss the Details of Your Case with Our Family Law Team Today!
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing our lives in innumerable ways and you may be experiencing some immense challenges with your child custody arrangement. For some, it may not be possible to be work on making adjustments to their parenting plan in the wake of this crisis and legal intervention may be necessary. At the Law Office of Nancy Perry Eaton, PLLC, our legal team can provide the guidance and support you need to get through this. Our legal team has nearly three decades of experience, which we will use to your advantage.
Regardless of the difficulties we are all facing, you can rely on us to provide the compassionate and knowledgeable representation our law firm is known for.
Reach out to our law office today at (254) 221-8588 to set up an initial consultation with a trusted member of our team.