Possession and Access of Your Children During the Aftermath of a Crisis – How should you approach it?

By Nancy L. Rommelmann, Family Law Attorney –


he effect, damage and trauma that Hurricane Harvey inflicted on our beloved Houston and surrounding areas is long term.  The stress and heartache on those who lost their homes, possessions and/or loved ones is unimaginable. Uncertain futures face many people including the children.

There is going to be a need in many cases for parties to have possession and access “by mutual agreement.” Many parties historically have shown themselves to be unable to agree about much and seem to be unable to deviate from the Orders in their Decrees regarding possession and access (visitation).

I foresee immediate challenges to visitation because of longer drive times for pick up and return of a child, assuming visitation can take place at all, due to logistics of people being displaced and having to move.

Tensions are going to be higher for many reasons as people are forced to deal with “Harvey” related issues.

How should you approach visitation of your child during the aftermath of a crisis?

  • Do put your child’s best interest first.
  • Do your best to work with the other party regarding modifying visitation.
  • Use common sense regarding visitation. Don’t put your child in harm’s way.
  • Do set an example for your child and assist the other party in some way.
  • Do offer additional financial assistance, if you are able, in addition to child support. Many families have lost school supplies, clothes and uniforms in the hurricane and will need additional monies to replace those things.
  • Be kind to the parent that has suffered a loss, and let your child know you’re sympathetic to the situation, then proactively assist the other party.
  • Do not create more stress on your child by making disparaging remarks about the other parent.

The same as Houstonians put their best efforts forward during Hurricane Harvey, should not parents of a child do the same?

“Take this chance to show your child you  can work together out of love for your child”