As we all know, the State of Texas and public officials are scrambling to stop the spread of Coronavirus or COVID-19. Primary and secondary schools across the state have begun using various solutions to prevent the children from coming to school for the impending weeks. For instance, some schools are “extending spring-break” whereas others are using their snow days. As a parent, your question is: “Do I get (or have to) watch my child until they return to school?”

That answer to that question is: it depends. It depends on a variety of factors.

First, the way your child’s school is dealing with the Coronavirus affects the answer. There may be a stark difference if your child’s school is utilizing snow days as opposed to extending the length of spring break. We will need the specific letter or e-mail from the school in order to ascertain how your child’s school is handling the situation.

Second, what does your order say? Does your order provide specific dates? Does your order include the standard language that you must return the child “at 6:00 p.m. on the day before the school resumes after that vacation”? A copy of the most recent final order in your divorce or suit affecting the parent-child relationship can address this factor.

Third, will the judge view your withholding of the child negatively? Some judges may not appreciate you wielding a technicality over the other parent. This is an answer you need to ask an attorney who regularly practices in your county.

Ultimately, there is a bit of uncertainty floating about regarding the Coronavirus. Unfortunately, that uncertainty has extended to the possession schedules that affect our children’s lives. If you are unsure of how your child’s situation will affect your possession and access schedule, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney with a copy of the letter or e-mail from the school and your most recent final order.