Texas Executive and Judicial Orders Affecting Children COVID-19

Coronavirus has impacted your parenting time with your children and you need help figuring out what to do next.

These are unprecedented times and the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone everywhere. The most vulnerable during this time however are families caring for and sharing children.

This page provides you with standing orders from the family courts and juvenile courts, Executive orders from the Governor, and statements or orders from the state Supreme Court, along with some basic Q&A. Click on the order you are interested in to the right and get right to the real facts. Scroll down for more valuable information to help you navigate and manage your case.

Texas Governor Abbott Order March 17, 2020 social distancing

Governor Abbott’s order for social distancing does not prohibit parents from exchanging their child between parents.

Dallas County District Court Order

Dallas County judges issue an order that Spring Break ends according to the regularly scheduled school calendar regardless of whether schools have extended the vacation and the parenting plans according to the regular schedules are to continue.

Texas Supreme Court Order March 24, 2020

Texas Supreme Court orders that Possession of and Access to a child shall not be affected by any shelter-in place order or other order restricting movement issued by the government.

Texas Supreme Court Order

Texas Supreme Court orders that the regular school calendar for Spring Break is to be followed.

Collin County District Court Order

Collin County judges issue an order that Spring Break ends according to the regularly scheduled school calendar regardless of whether schools have extended the vacation and the regular parenting plan schedules are to continue through summer.

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The strongest and bravest thing I ever did for my children was not giving in to judges and attorneys trying to convince me to be someone I was not, and teaching my children to speak up, think for themselves, and to live their authentic selves independent of others trying to make them doubt who they are and what they believe. The next bravest thing has been teaching other parents to be confident in who they are, and comfortable standing up to judges who violate their rights and attorneys who refuse to protect them. 

Sherry Palmer, Author, Speaker, Instructor, Guidance Coach for Better Outcomes in Child Custody Suits

FAQ

Can I still follow my parenting plan during a shelter-in-place in Texas?

Yes, but always check for current orders before you act.

If I live in another state can I still pick up my child for my parenting time?

Yes. All of the orders that we have reviewed to date as of March 24, 2020 have said that you can still travel across state lines if it is to go to a family home or another one of your residences. The child would be traveling from one of their residences to the other. However, keep a constant eye out for any new orders. The conditions have been changing rapidly throughout communities dealing with this Coronavirus outbreak. 

Do I still have to pay my child support?

Yes. If you continue to be employed nothing has changed for you regarding this. If you have lost your job or have had your hours cut back call your attorney and find out what you need to do. 

If you cannot contact your attorney because they may not be in the office anymore, call another one until you can find and also write a letter to the Title IV-D District Attorney’s office informing them of the problem, and mail a copy of that letter to your court and the other side’s attorney and the other party. If you get in touch with your attorney and they advise you to do differently than follow your attorney’s advice. 

Copy your Governor on your letter as well as the District Attorney himself and the Lieutenant Governor, your Senator, and your House Representative. Do not send this directly to your judge, your intent is to get this filed into your case file. Call your court administrator and find out how they want you to do this. If you cannot file electronically ask the coordinator if you can email to him or her. Do not ever email or try to communicate with your judge directly. You can communicate with everyone else in your judge’s court. Keep it professional and with a purpose. 

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