How Does Visitation Work in Texas?

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Child custody issues are usually complicated and never easy. Visitation is often a main concern of parents going through a divorce.

In Texas, visitation is called possession of and access to a child. A parent can get possession and access, unless the judge determines it is not in the best interest of the child and will endanger the physical and emotional well-being of the child. During the divorce proceedings, joint or sole custody is determined by the court according to the best interest of the child. The court also decides upon the terms and conditions of the rights of the parent with visitation.

Parental Visitation in Texas

In most cases, custody orders include a standard possession order (SPO) that sets the schedule for each parent’s time with the child. However, parents with an SPO can agree to any visitation schedule that works for them both.  If they cannot agree, then they must follow the terms of the SPO.  In each case, the type of visitation schedule is determined by the judge presiding over your separation or divorce.

Reasonable Visitation. This mean that it is left to the parents of the children to come up with a plan and schedule for parental visitation. This is preferred by the courts.

Fixed Visitation. In general, this means the parents follow a fixed visitation schedule that the judge orders the specific times, and sometimes the places, where the non-custodial parent is to have parental visitation. When there is clear conflict between the parents or when the parents are not willing to cooperate with each other, the courts are more inclined to place parents on fixed visitation.

Visitation for Grandparents

Every state has some sort of grandparent visitation law. In Texas, a court can authorize grandparent visitation of a grandchild if visitation is in the child’s best interest, and one of the following circumstances exists:

  • The parents divorced
  • The parent abused or neglected the child
  • The parent has been incarcerated, found incompetent, or died
  • A court-order terminated the parent-child relationship
  • The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months

Also, a grandparent may not request visitation if the grandchild has been adopted by someone other than the child’s step-parent. Both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial and medical support for their children. If a grandparent has custody, the parents will be required to pay it to the grandparent.

Do You Have Questions About Your Visitation?

It is important to discuss your situation with an experienced divorce lawyer, especially when you believe you do not receive a fair amount of time with your child. If you have questions about divorce, our attorneys at C.E. Borman & Associates are glad to explain your rights and what legal recourse is available to you.

 

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