Texas families are well aware of the devastation that a hurricane or other natural disaster can bring. When faced with an impending hurricane, the thought of child custody is often the last thing on a parent's mind. However, such a disaster can result in lost child custody time and frustration on the other parent's part.
Natural disasters can take a heavy toll on a marriage. In fact, after the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe, the divorce rate increased a whopping 10 percent in the region. The area has still not recovered, and when asked, divorced couples often cite financial stress and issues directly related to the storm. Such a disaster can affect couples in the midst of a divorce and couples who have already gone through one if children were involved.
For those with a child custody agreement and who may have lost child custody time during and after the storm, it may be a good idea to check the agreement both parents signed. Sometimes there is a clause within the document covering the steps to recoup lost visitation time. If no such clause exists, parents may want to work together to lay out a plan best for the both of them. Parents who lose time with their children due to such a disaster can often feel frustrated, so working together may help smooth those issues over.
Issues of child support can also come up in such a time. Unless a formal modification is in place, parents should know they are required to pay their obligated amounts, even if the storm resulted in a loss of child custody time. Texas disasters can be a difficult time for everyone, but parents who lose time with their children because of the storm should know there are options available to them to help correct it.
Source: Huffington Post, "Dealing with Disasters & Aftermath Of Superstorm Sandy, Divorced or Not," Bari Zell Weinberger, Nov. 19, 2012