Thursday, March 12, 2020, was a day full of constant conflicting messages that impact families’ schedules. Colleges are closing, NCAA sports are cancelling their seasons, the NBA is ending its season, March Madness is over, and public schools are changing Spring Break! If you are like most parents, your initial thought is to keep your children safe and healthy. If you are also divorced or co-parent with another, then your thoughts suddenly shift to the Spring Break schedule and the question, “Who Gets the Kids?”
When does Spring Break possession begin and end? Well, first, it depends on your Order. If you have a custom schedule that provides for a shared week or specific days, then follow your Order. If your Order follows the Standard Possession Order, in even-numbered years, the non-custodial parent has possession of the child from the time school is dismissed for Spring Break until 6:00 p.m. the day before school resumes for Spring Break. Some may say, this extends Spring Break, perhaps indefinitely. However, our Collin County District Courts https://www.facebook.com/CCDistrictCourts/ have injected a little common sense into the situation and issued a statement that the Standard Possession Order under the Texas Family Code follows the originally published school calendar. So, if you live in Collin County, have a standard possession order, and you have possession over spring break, your possession period ends at 6:00 p.m. the day before Spring Break was originally scheduled to resume. Other counties may or may not follow suit, but it is always best to put your children first rather than argue over technical points of when a Spring Break extended by disaster ends.
What about the parent who does not want to exercise possession over Spring Break due to Corona Virus fears? According to the Texas Family Code, each parent has a duty of care, control, and protection during their periods of possession. The threat of illness impacts intact families as well as co-parenting families. Please put your children first and keep them and yourself healthy. Work with your co-parent to split time during the extended Spring Break and help each other out if anyone becomes ill. At the end of this health crisis, the most important thing you can provide your children is the knowledge that you cared for them enough to keep them safe and healthy, and worked out the logistics with the other parent.
Now, go do the right thing!