On March 24, 2020, in Misc. Docket No. 20-9050, the Texas Supreme Court issued an order (“Seventh Emergency Order regarding The Covid-19 State of Disaster) to clarify periods of possession for parents/conservators which applies to all possession schedules in Texas Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (which are included as well in Final Decrees of Divorce which include orders for minor children). This emergency order provides, that a parent’s/conservator’s right of possession and access 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, pandemic, including COVID-19. It further states, that nothing in this emergency order prevents parents/conservators from altering their possession schedule by agreement, if allowed by their court orders.
All court orders which include possession orders in all of my cases in which an order was entered with the Court (including Temporary Orders), as well as most, if not all Orders entered prior to a currently pending modification case, include the required Texas Family Code provision which orders that parents/conservators shall have possession of their child/ren at times mutually agreed to in advance by the parties, and in the absence of a mutual agreement, pursuant to the specified terms set out in the possession order contained in the Order.
Taking into consideration the health and safety of your children and the best interest of your children, as well as the closure of schools and interruptions to parents’/conservators’ work schedules, where appropriate, we here at the Law Office of Mary E. Jones, I encourage parents and/or conservators to work together when and where the need arises to reach agreements in periods of possession in order to assist each other and your children in response to the imminent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as during any stay-in-place orders.