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End of Year COVID Updates and Family Law Issues

Leslie Barrows
 | Published: 
December 23, 2020
 | Category: 

So Long, 2020: COVID, Christmas, and Challenges for Texas Families

As 2020 winds down and we are days away from Christmas and New Years, the Barrows Firm wishes all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays as we pass along some end of year COVID updates and family law issues to consider for current and upcoming divorces and child custody cases.

In addition to COVID, the usual Christmas and New Years’ challenges concern Texas families with divorce, child support, and holiday possession issues. Even the best plans for the holidays that follow the court order and agreements among co-parents can be interrupted. From resolving visitation conflicts and concerns about drinking too much, Attorney Leslie Barrows and all at the Barrows Firm in Southlake are hoping everyone has the best holiday season and will be in touch if it is necessary.

Divorce and family law case filings usually spike in January after many have decided it is time to call it quits or time for a modification or enforcement of an existing Court Order. New divorce cases will follow the extended Standing Order in Tarrant County and the new discovery rules in Texas divorces in 2021.

For Texas Divorce and Family Law Advice and Counsel, Contact the Barrows Firm in Southlake at (817) 481-1583

Is Everyone Ready for Christmas and New Years'?

In a recent article, we addressed Holiday Possession Schedules and said, check your Court Order if there are questions or issues related to the holidays and visitation. With the year of COVID disrupting life, many are adapting and being flexible to challenges and potential conflict. However, there are still scheduling and life conflicts that arise and need attention. The Barrows Firm attorneys are ready to assist with finding resolutions to problems so everyone can enjoy the holidays.

Sadly, holidays can bring out the worst in some people who already have anxiety over the season. Adding the stress and challenges of the year of COVID, the normal concern about alcohol abuse and all that comes from it is now an elevated concern as we say goodbye to 2020. While we hope everything goes well, some parents want their child custody judge to order alcohol monitoring, as we shared in our recent article. Especially during the 2020 holiday season, we hope everyone is responsible with choices and that everyone makes good choices that are in the best interests of the children.

Psychology Today: Substance Abuse in Divorce Is as Complicated as You’d Think

Tarrant County: Second Amended Temporary Emergency Standing Order

Recently, the Tarrant County Amended Temporary Emergency Standing Order that went into effect on May 30, 2020, was effectively extended into 2021. That order expires on December 31, 2020. The Second Amended Temporary Emergency Standing Order is effective January 1, 2021, and expires February 1, 2021, unless extended further by the Court’s order.

This Standing Order applies in every divorce suit and every suit affecting the parent-child relationship, filed in Tarrant County or pending in the undersigned courts during the effective dates.

This Order is pursuant to the Texas Supreme Court’s First Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster. Standing Orders generally are used to automatically order the parties in a divorce or family case to maintain the status quo and not disturb people or property once the suit is filed and until it is finalized.

The Tarrant County Courts in which this Standing Order applies are:

Issues Addressed in the Second Amended Temporary Emergency Standing Order:

New Discovery Rules in Texas Divorce

For all new Texas divorce and family law cases filed on or after January 1, 2021, there are new discovery rules. The good news for lawyers is that some fellow family law attorneys like the new rules. The challenge for lawyers is that new rules can lead to disagreements. The best news is that to clients with new cases filed, their lawyers are the ones who navigate the discovery process. One of the goals of the legislative change and the creation of new rules is to streamline the divorce discovery process and make things better for the families involved. Of course, there are opportunities and exceptions where the new rules can be set aside if there is a good cause. The attorneys at the Barrows Firm happily answer questions about the divorce process.

The Barrows Firm in Southlake is Open for Divorce and Family Law Matters

Everyone at the Barrows Firm is committed to safety and stopping the spread of COVID. From cleaning and sanitizing the office to maintaining appropriate safety measures, the Barrows Firm puts the needs of the client first. We also have several ways we can communicate and conference in-person and by Zoom and other electronic communication. During 2020 the family law community and Courts implemented new ways of handling divorce and child custody cases. As is usually the case, there are frequent new divorce cases, and other cases for enforcements or modifications, that are filed shortly after Christmas and the holidays. The Barrows Firm in Southlake shares end of year COVID updates and family law issues so people can make the best choices be the best parents.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Barrows Firm in Southlake