The Impact of COVID-19 on Child Possession Orders

Child Custody

On Tuesday, March 24th, the Texas Supreme Court issued a seventh emergency order in regard to the state of emergency that’s been declared in Texas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order has been issued in an attempt to clarify child possession schedules and how they might be impacted by the current situation. The order states that in situations in which a person’s right to possession of and access to a child is in question, the existing trial court order will take precedence “in all instances.” The state of emergency declared by Governor Abbot, as well as the shelter-in-place orders declared in various counties across the state will not affect previous court orders. Simply put, parents and guardians are still required to keep children on their regular, court-approved schedules.

The order goes on to say that involved parties are still able to alter a possession schedule, provided that it’s allowed by their court order. Courts are also allowed to modify existing orders on an emergency basis.

This Order went into effect on March 24, 2020, and will expire on May 8, 2020, unless adjusted by the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court. The order’s full text can be read here. You should have any questions about an existing child possession order and how it could be impacted by COVID-19, please call Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson to speak with an attorney at (214) 273-2400.