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Visitation during Quarantine and School Closures

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2022 | Firm News

By: Tanisha Taylor, Associate Attorney

Quarantine and Scheduled Visits

If your child has recently tested positive for COVID-19, or if your child has been exposed to COVID-19 and has to Quarantine before a scheduled visit, you may be wondering “Do I have to let my child, go with the other parent during Quarantine?”.

The Texas Supreme Court has addressed this question in several emergency orders during the pandemic. The Texas Supreme Court says without an agreement between the parents, the current court order should be followed. The court order should be followed regardless of any order restricting movement created by the pandemic such as shelter in place orders.1

For example, if your child is starting a five-day quarantine while they are in your care and the other parent’s court-ordered possession and access time begins on the third day of quarantine, you must allow your child to finish their quarantine with the other parent.

School Closure

You could find yourself in the situation where your child’s school is facing temporary closure due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. You may be asking, “how will visitation work with school being closed?” The Texas Supreme Court has also addressed the issue of school closing in their emergency orders. The Court’s decision is for parents to continue your visitation schedule as if school is still in session.2

Overview

Required quarantine or school closures do not take priority over your court ordered visitation schedule. Withholding your child in violation of your existing court order could potentially allow the other parent to file a Motion for Enforcement against you. A Motion for Enforcement would require you to attend court to justify keeping your child against court orders, and could subject you to paying attorney’s fees and court costs.

Reaching an agreement with the other parent is the best option to avoid litigation. Nothing in the Texas Supreme Court Orders prevents parents from coming to an agreement to modify their existing court order. If you are unable to come to an agreement with your child’s other parent, you may want to ask yourself if modifying your existing court order is best for you.

Call our office today to discuss your options.


[1] In determining a person’s right to possession of and access to a child under a court ordered possession schedule in a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, 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 the pandemic.

[2] The original published school schedule shall also control, and possession and access shall not be affected by the school’s closure that arises from the pandemic.