If you are wondering whether or not the COVID-19 pandemic will justify violating a court order for possession and access – you might want to read these two Emergency Orders from the Texas Supreme Court:

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS
Misc. Docket No. 20-9043
SECOND EMERGENCY ORDER REGARDING THE COVID-19 STATE OF DISASTER
Dated: March 17, 2020

ORDERED that: 1. Governor Abbott has declared a state of disaster in all 254 counties in the State of Texas in response to the imminent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. This order is issued pursuant to Section 22.0035(b) of the Texas Government Code. 2. This order applies to and clarifies possession schedules in Suits Affecting the Parent–Child Relationship. For 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. 3. Nothing herein prevents parties from altering a possession schedule by agreement if allowed by their court order(s), or courts from modifying their orders. 4. This Order is effective as of March 13, 2020, and expires May 8, 2020, unless extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 5. The Clerk of the Supreme Court is directed to: a. post a copy of this Order on www.txcourts.gov; b. file a copy of this Order with the Secretary of State; and c. send a copy of this Order to the Governor, the Attorney General, and each member of the Legislature. Misc. Docket No. 20-9043 Page 2 6. The State Bar of Texas is directed to take all reasonable steps to notify members of the Texas bar of this Order.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS
Misc. Docket No. 20-9050
SEVENTH EMERGENCY ORDER REGARDING THE COVID-19 STATE OF DISASTER
Dated: March 24, 2020

ORDERED that: 1. Governor Abbott has declared a state of disaster in all 254 counties in the State of Texas in response to the imminent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. This order is issued pursuant to Section 22.0035(b) of the Texas Government Code. 2. This Order supplements and does not replace or amend prior Emergency Orders Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster. 3. This order applies to and clarifies possession schedules in Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship. For purposes of determining a person’s right to possession of and access to a child under a court-ordered possession schedule, the existing trial court order shall control in all instances. Possession of and access to a child shall not be affected by any shelter-inplace order or other order restricting movement issued by a governmental entity that arises from an epidemic or pandemic, including what is commonly referred to as the COVID-19 pandemic. 4. Nothing herein prevents parties from altering a possession schedule by agreement if allowed by their court order(s), or courts from modifying their orders on an emergency basis or otherwise. 5. This Order is effective as of March 24, 2020, and expires May 8, 2020, unless extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 6. The Clerk of the Supreme Court is directed to: a. post a copy of this Order on www.txcourts.gov; Misc. Docket No. 20-9050 Page 2 b. file a copy of this Order with the Secretary of State; and c. send a copy of this Order to the Governor, the Attorney General, and each member of the Legislature. 7. The State Bar of Texas is directed to take all reasonable steps to notify members of the Texas bar of this Order.

Read more about these and other Texas Supreme Court administrative orders.

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