The general position of the State of Texas, its courts and its legislature
is that parents should be able to have fulfilling relationships with their
children. This means being able to not only share in the rights and duties
that are inherent in parenting, but also to have the ability to spend
time together. Unfortunately, as the attorneys at the Law Office of Bryan
Fagan can attest to, things don't always work out that way.
Reasons a Parent May Have their Visitation Supervised
On occasion, one parent is ordered by a court to have what's known as
supervised visitation with their children due to a host of reasons including:
- Physical or emotional abuse
- Mental illness or
- Drug addiction
Physical or Emotional Abuse
A parent may be denied visitation rights if:
- the parent has abused the child or
- threatened physical violence
- Where sufficient proof is offered of potential emotional harm
If a parent suffers from a mental incapacity, then a court may determine
there is sufficient reason for supervised visitation.
However, only if the court finds the parent as a result mental incapacity
presents a reasonable potential for harm to the child.
If there are allegations regarding drug abuse a court may require both
parents to be tested for illegal drugs or substance abuse. Testing positive
on any kind of illegal substance will have a negative impact on your divorce
or child custody case in Texas.
This could lead a judge to require your visitation with your children to
be supervised. Supervised visitation could continue until the Court is
satisfied that you have demonstrated that any issues you had with substance
abuse have been resolved. During this time or even after you could be
- submit to random alcohol or
- drug testing
A parent’s visitation can be order supervised on a showing that there
is a strong imminent probability of abduction
What is Supervised Visitation?
Supervised Visitation means that the non-custodial parent may not be alone
with the child during visitation. Possible options of supervised visitation include:
- Neutral Third Party
- Other Parent
- Monitored by Professionals
Neutral Third Party
Supervised visitation by a neutral third party could include:
- a grandparent or
- other family member
- friends of the family
- close neighbors and
- child care providers
Sometimes the other parent will supervise a parents visitation if the relationship
between the parents is not antagonistic.
Monitored by Professionals
When the above two options are not possible then a court may order the
visitation to be supervised by professionals. Two such organizations available
in Houston and surrounding areas are the Safe Program and Guardians of Hope.
Generally Supervised Visits by these professionals:
- Is expensive - the expense may create a deterrent to access and possession
by the supervised parent.
- may also provide reports and recommendation to the court based on the success
or failure of the supervised visits.
Things to Keep in Mind if Supervised Visitation is Ordered
Supervised visitation will typically occur in conjunction with a court
approved program whose role is to act as a "safe space" for
the supervised parent to interact with the children.
While in this setting the parent who's having visitation must keep
in mind that the things they say and do are being observed closely.
It is best to keep opinions regarding the situation of the court order
or the limitations that it puts on the parent and the children. The important
thing to note is that
supervised visitation does not necessarily have to be permanent.
SAFE Program and Guardians of Hope
Two agencies that handle supervised visitation in the Harris County and
Montgomery county include:
- SAFE and
- Guardians of Hope
These programs offer supervised visitation in a neutral setting for parents
to visit with their children while being monitored by staff members. These
programs are usually court-ordered in situations where there have been
allegations of physical or emotional abuse, drug use or other problems.
The goal of these programs is to provide a stress-free environment for
children to visit with a parent. Another benefit of these program there
is no interaction between the parents and the entire time a parent spends
with their child is devoted to fun and positive interaction.
Guardians of Hope
Registration is done at the Victim
Assistance Centre, 1310 Prairie Suite 1030.
Parties should call 713-274-7391 to
schedule their appointment.
Guardians of Hope, 2211 Rayford Rd., Ste. 111 #22, Spring, TX 77386
Phone: (713)542-1110 – Fax: (281)350-9373
Alternate Phone: (832) 610-4914
Restoring Standard Visitation
In order to get back to a more
"standard" possession schedule with their children, a parent who is ordered to have supervised visitation
should follow the guidelines of the court order. You will need to start
building a case in order to ask the court for standard or standard expanded
possession expanded visitation.
Some things you can do to help your case include:
- Never miss a scheduled visit
- Arrive on time
- If you miss a visit schedule a makeup as soon as possible
- During your visits put the sole focus of your visit on the children
- keep any comments about the case to yourself
- Avoid giving any opinions on the existing judgment or the supervised visitation order
- Be polite with the monitor even if you develop strong negative feelings
- Never, speak negatively about the other parent to or in the presence of the child
- Never, use vulgar or abusive language toward or in the presence of the child
The parent is there is there for one purpose and it's not to inquire
about what's happening with the other parent or anything other than
a bonding opportunity. By following the court order and working on whatever
issues caused the supervised visitation to be ordered in the first place,
a parent can attempt to modify their court order to allow for unsupervised,
The attorneys at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are attuned to the issues
facing parents with court ordered supervised visitation and will work
with you to ensure that you are able to see your children as frequently
possible. While it is never easy to be denied time with your children
there are opportunities to normalize your visitation schedule and our
attorneys are here to help. Contact us today for a consultation free of charge.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- Texas Child Visitation Modification
- 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
- Texas Parental Visitation – Texas Standard Possession Orders in Harris
and Montgomery County, Texas – Part 1
- Texas Parental Relocation
- Geographic Restrictions in Child Visitation Orders in Texas
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and