Child Visitation When A Parent Has Been Displaced From His or Her Home
Displaced parents may find it more difficult to correctly exercise their child visitation. This disruption to life left parents struggling with daily survival and not focused on following on their court ordered child possession and child access (child visitation). Your exchange location may not be accessible making it difficult to follow the possession and access court order.
Even with a Major Disaster Area Declaration for much of Texas being declared by Governor Abbott and President Trump. A parent is still responsible for following their court orders. Parents may need to seek legal assistance to help.
Many people have been displaced from their homes. School have been destroyed. Following your court order not be without additional complications. One or both parents may have been displaced from their homes. There may be a concern for the child’s safety. Even the exchange location may not exist or be accessible. So how does a parent cope and still property exercise and abide by that existing court order?
What if I am concerned for the safety of my child?
If concerned for the safety of your child because the other parent has been displaced from their home or the location of their home has been devastated by the hurricane you should voice your concerns to your co-parent. Working together for the best interest of your child is very important; maybe now more than ever. The Major Disaster Area Declaration and the disruption of life caused by the hurricane are not an acceptable reason to deny the other parent their co-parenting or visitation time.
The only exception is when you believe that your child’s physical safety is in immediate danger. If taken to court for on an Enforcement of Possession and Access you must be able to convince the judge that you had a valid concern for the immediate safety of your child. For example, not exchanging the child during the actual hurricane landfall may be a reason that a judge would find meets a standard of immediate danger.
If one parent relocates more than 100 miles from the other parent, make sure to review the portion of your court order for the possession and access orders that will now be in place. The dates of visitation and exchange locations may be different from when the parents lived within 100 miles of each other.
What if the exchange location is not accessible?
According to Attorney Carole Riggs, if the exchange location is not accessible contact the child’s other parent by text, email or telephone and arrange for another temporary location. The courts prefer for the parents to cooperate with one another when making decisions regarding pick-up and drop-off locations. The courts will likely determine that the pick-up and drop-off location will be the primary conservator’s (custodial parent) new or temporary residence.
Still have questions about child visitation?
For additional questions it is best to visit with an attorney. Text or call America Family Law Center.
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