What About Child Custody and Visitation During COVID-19?


How the Pandemic Affects Your Child's Education and Visitation

Child custody and visitation during COVID-19 present some unique questions and issues for parents. With children back in school, whether in an actual class or virtually, many parents feel challenged to work things out.

With schools back in session, what will child custody and visitation during COVID-19 be like?

Child custody and visitation during COVID-19 still must follow the existing court orders. Unless the court orders are modified or your court allows parents to change schedules, the orders stand. Court orders outline when which parent is supposed to have possession (custody or visitation) of the child. With a joint managing conservatorship, typically one parent determines the child's primary residence, and often parents work out arrangements with each other. If you cannot agree on the arrangements, you may have to consult with a lawyer, negotiate an agreement or take your issues to court.

The Texas Supreme Court issued an emergency order that the original published school schedule determines the possession for school age children. Custody and visitation are not affected by the school's closure due to the pandemic. It also says parties can change a possession schedule if allowed by their court or through court modified orders.

Can we do other alternatives instead of public school?

Under Texas law, children can receive home schooling or attend private schools instead of going to public school. Learning pods are education alternatives that are popping up across the country. A learning pod is a small group of students receiving in-person schooling through a tutor or teacher. If you and your child's other parent are considering taking your child out of public school and using one of these alternatives, you should make this decision together.

At Pfister Family Law, our lawyers can help you make important decisions regarding child custody and visitation. We are glad to discuss your options, give legal advice and answer any questions you have.

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