Coronavirus, Shelter-in-Place, and Exchanges – Update

by Alexandra Geczi and James V. Esh

There have been a lot of different jurisdictions issuing different orders related to “shelter-in-place” orders.  The restrictions in these orders vary between jurisdictions. These local orders can be confusing for parents who have custody orders and how those orders impact those orders.  Regardless, the Texas Supreme Court has issued guidance in the latest order.   In short, parties are to comply the underlying Court Order.  Specifically, the Court stated in relevant part: 

 (3)…For purposes of determining a person’s right to possession of and access to a child under a court-ordered possession schedule, the existing trial court order shall control in all instances. Possession of and access to a child shall not be affected by any shelter-in- place order or other order restricting movement issued by a governmental entity that arises from an epidemic or pandemic, including what is commonly referred to as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

You may have a situation where you feel that it is not in the best interest of your child(ren) to continue exchanges based on the circumstances.  The Courts are open for those emergency situations; however, those concerns will have to be brought before the Court to consider. If you feel you are in such a situation, you should talk with an attorney to discuss those options. 

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