Hello, my name is…Gene Leposki, I am a Board Certified Family Law Specialist and Managing Attorney for our Plano office at the Law Offices of Bailey & Galyen. I have been practicing law for over 30 years and the lawyers at Bailey & Galyen also has decades of legal experience.
When Covid 19 was first detected – it was during the Spring of 2020 when children were in Spring Break and their schools started to be locked down. The parent, mostly dads at that point in time, who had the child, were scared and decided they were not going to return the child to the other parent because their possession ended the day before school resumed and school was closed.
The TX Supreme Court stepped in right away and ruled, parents must obey by their current order and use the school calendar whether or not the schools were open or would ever re-open.
Then, it was the moms turn, when the mask mandates were put in place, they did not feel that Fathers were following the rules and decided that they would withhold custody from the Father because the kids were not safe. The TX Supreme Court stepped back in and said, we understand your concerns, but you must follow your order until it is modified.
Now we are facing battles over disagreements about getting children vaccinated. Some parents have religious differences and true medical concerns regarding the safety of the vaccines. Who has the right to make this medical decision for their child? It depends on your court order. Generally speaking, the right to make decisions related to non-emergency invasive medical decisions can be awarded exclusively to one parent, independently to both parents, or by agreement of both parents.
Therefore, if a parent has the exclusive right to make that decision, the other parent would need to get the order modified if he or she does not agree with the other parent’s vaccination policy. If the right is independent, then either parent can get the children vaccinated when the child is with him or her. If it is by agreement and they cannot agree, then they should seek the advice of the child’s primary pediatrician and present that evidence to the judge.
As I stated earlier, a parent must follow their existing order, but if one parent tests positive for Covid-19, then common sense dictates, visitation should be suspended until a negative test is presented and their possession should resume immediately thereafter to avoid an enforcement proceeding.
If you need help with a divorce, custody, marital property, or family law matter, we have the skill, knowledge, experience and resources to help you. Call us at 817-359-7090 for an appointment.