Divorce and Child Custody During COVID-19

Wills, Trusts, Special Needs

Divorce & Child Conservatorship During COVID-19

Supporting Texas Families During the Coronavirus Health Crisis

The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic can be felt virtually everywhere and in all aspects of normal life. Most people are required to isolate themselves at home. Further, businesses and nonessential government services have scaled-back or ceased operations. This includes public courts, except for emergency cases, per a standing order issued by the Texas Supreme Court.

At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, we remain dedicated to advising and supporting Texas families during this time of crisis. Our firm is working hard to address your legal questions and concerns, including those concerning child conservatorship during COVID-19.

Call our firm at (281) 810-9760 to learn more about how we can help you.

Conservatorship Compliance During COVID-19

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, on March 13, 2020, Governor Gregg Abbott declared a state of emergency for all counties in Texas, stating that COVID-19 presented an “imminent threat of disaster.” As a result, the State of Texas has ordered everyone to stay home as a measure for halting the spread of the virus, unless you are engaging in an essential activity.

Consequently, legal actions—including several family law matters—have been stayed and continued until May, except for emergency cases. For many families who have already been through divorce or separation, this raises questions concerning child conservatorship arrangements.

Since Governor Abbott declared a state of emergency for all Texas counties until May, separated or divorced parents may be wondering how this impacts their rights and responsibilities per the court’s custody orders.

Child conservatorship—also known as “child custody” in other jurisdictions—is a significant legal issue that often comes up in family law cases in Texas. When the parents of a minor child get divorced or separate, they must determine how to distribute the time they spend with their child now that they no longer live together.

In Texas family law, child conservatorship can be divided into different categories depending on the extent of a party’s rights to spend time with their children:

Sole managing conservators

If the court appoints a parent as sole managing conservator, they will live together with their child, sharing a primary residence. This arrangement is conceptually similar to “sole custody.”

Joint managing conservators

In cases where the child alternates living between parents, the parents are considered to be joint managing conservators. This concept is similar to what is known as “shared” or “joint” custody in other states.

Although the above categories broadly cover child conservatorship in general, the details of the court’s custody orders typically differ from case to case. In particular, specific details regarding parenting schedules—such as the location and time of custody exchanges for joint managing conservators—depend heavily on the circumstances of a case.

Among the emergency orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic include an order concerning child custody, which states “[f]or purposes of determining a person’s right to possession of and access to a child under a court-ordered possession schedule, the original published school schedule shall control in all instances. Possession and access shall not be affected by the school’s closure that arises from an epidemic or pandemic, including what is commonly referred to as the COVID19 pandemic.”

Furthermore, the order provides that “Nothing herein prevents parties from altering a possession schedule by agreement if allowed by their court order(s), or courts from modifying their orders.”

In summary, the following applies to parents who share child custody in Texas:

You Can Count on the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, we deeply appreciate the hardships you and your family may be experiencing as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak and the strict public health policies implemented to counteract it. That is why we continue serving residents and their families in Dallas by providing legal advice and guidance for family law matters, including issues concerning child conservatorship under Texas law. To ensure you get the legal counsel you need—while promoting and preserving public health during this crisis—we offer consultations via telephone or video.

Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, or call us at (281) 810-9760 to schedule an initial consultation today.

10 Most Popular Texas Family Law and Divorce Blogs of 2020?

Maybe you have recently started to think about divorce. Or, maybe you are in the middle of your divorce, but

Reasons Divorce Is Good for Kids

In many ways, it can be extremely counter-intuitive to think about divorce being good for anyone. Sure, in certain situations

How to talk to your children about divorce

Before the pandemic, it may have been the case that you have not had an opportunity to discuss the problematic

Zoom Etiquette: How does it relate to a Texas family law case?

At this stage of the pandemic, I am willing to bet that most of us have been involved in a

Role of a Family Law Attorney in regard to Premarital Agreements

If you are like most people, you were probably introduced to the idea of a prenuptial or premarital agreement through

Pandemic Shared Parenting 101

What happens after a family law case? This is a question that not many people will ask around the time

6 Strategies for Survival: Cohabitation in The Time Of COVID-19

Did you ever think that you would be spending this much time in your own home? I never did. Since

Divorce and Coronavirus: Does it Make Sense to Wait?

Have you ever thought that waiting to do something was better than doing it right now? I think we have

Surviving Marriage During the Coronavirus Quarantine

Marriage is difficult enough as it is without the added problems associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic is a

4 Tips for Keeping Your Family Intact During the Coronavirus

If you are a regular reader of the blog for the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, then you know that we

Contact Us

The First Step is Starting the Conversation