Lewisville:  Frisco:
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  •    Lewisville: (469) 948-4764
  •    Frisco: (214) 269-9601

Blog of David Heiman - Family Law Attorney - Divorce Lawyer

As the normal school year rapidly approaches us (as of this writing), many parents are rightly concerned about how to safely, and yet effectively, allow their children to resume their education. According to a recent University of Texas poll[1], a full 65% of Texas parents believe that it would not be safe to return their children to school now. And, that same poll, found that Texans are less approving of all levels of government and state and national leadership as the pandemic worsens in the state. Id. So, while the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) directed on July 24, 2020[2] that “communities should make every effort to support the reopening of schools safely for in person learning in the fall”[3],  many Texans have discussed, often on social media, alternatives that they hope will be safer than a normal reopening. Among the most-discussed of those ideas are traditional home schooling (which may be available to those families who have the luxury of a parent remaining home, full-time, to instruct their children), to hiring tutors for one or more families (often called “learning pods”). For other parents, it seems more important to have their children attend their schools virtually, so that they might retain social connection with their classmates, friends, and familiar school officials.

Our courts began operating far differently than usual, beginning in March, 2020, and they continue to still do so today. This process began when Governor Abbott issued a disaster proclamation on March 13, 2020, “certifying that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) poses an imminent threat of disaster for all counties in the State of Texas.” He authorized the suspension of the normal rules and procedures for the “conduct of state business… that would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster.” Following that declaration, both The Supreme Court of Texas, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, issued their “First Emergency Order Regarding The Covid-19 State Of Disaster,” which drastically changed the way that Texas courts operate.1 Texas courts are, however, and have been, open and operating, albeit differently than they did prior to March 13, 2020.

Many courts are not currently operating as they did before during this shutdown. They are, however, open, and processing some cases. Here, in Texas, our state courts are holding “essential” hearings, via Zoom. Essential hearings, in the context of Texas Family Law cases, consist of those concerning matters such as temporary restraining orders, CPS child removal, and applications for protective orders (due to allegations of family violence). All others, such as routine divorce temporary orders hearings, are presently not occurring before June 1, 2020.

It was reported earlier this week that with the number of Covid-19 corona virus cases increasing, the 11 regional presiding judges in Texas earlier this week began appointing judges within their respective region to be available to process cases where infected people refused to self-quarantine. The Texas Office of Court Administration[1] is in charge of this project. When can someone be forced into quarantine, and what are the criteria for making that decision? That is what we will discuss today.

Since there have been no reported cases in Texas where a person infected by the Covid-19 coronavirus has refused to self-quarantine, this week’s actions are merely precautionary. According to personnel at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas who I spoke with on March 5, 2020, they have previously had to require patients infected with tuberculosis to be quarantined, when those patients refused to self-quarantine themselves. So, the potential refusal of a patient infected with Covid-19 to self-quarantine should not be surprising.

We have previously written about parenting with a high conflict ex, (parts 1-4). Those articles can be found here. In one of those articles, we discussed when a Parenting Facilitator or Parenting Coordinator can be appointed, and the process of obtaining parenting facilitation. In this article, we will discuss the work of the Parenting Facilitator (PF) or Parenting Coordinator (PC), and the necessary qualifications of these professionals. The difference between the PC and PF is whether the proceedings are confidential. For our purposes today, we will refer to both processes as “Parenting Facilitation” done by a “Parenting Facilitator” or “PF.”

About Us

The Heiman Law Firm provides professional family law services in cases such as divorce, child custody, child support, CPS, adoption and more. We have been proudly serving clients, primarily in Denton County, for over 25 years.

Office Hours

Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday Appointments Available

Contact Info

Lewisville Office
405 State Highway 121 Byp Ste A250
Lewisville, TX 75067

  (469) 948-4764

 

Frisco Office
2770 Main Street Ste 179
Frisco, TX 75033

  (214) 269-9601

  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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