Texas Divorce and Parent Child Visitation
The right to see and spend time with your children is one of the most important
rights you have as a parent. Even after you and your spouse have gotten
divorced, you deserve to have an influence on your child's life, and
your child has the right to see both parents. At The Law Office of Bryan
Fagan, we understand this, and our attorneys help protect this right and
shield your children from the process as much as possible.
The attorneys of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, are ready to answer your
most pressing questions regarding all aspects of visitation. Including
Houston Child Visitation Attorney
If you have questions regarding the visitation of your children in the
greater Houston area, including contact one of our experienced family
law attorney in Harris County to discuss the details of your case. We
offer a free consultation, and we're always happy to answer your questions.
Let us help you resolve your visitation case in a way that promotes both
your and your child's best interests.
Visitation Information Center
At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we recognize that every family and situation
is unique with its own set of facts, and we are ready to help you create
and maintain a visitation schedule that will work best for you and your children.
We are also ready to fight for you should your right to visitation with
your children be challenged. The following topics are issues that commonly
arise throughout the course of a child visitation case
Joint Managing Conservator versus
Sole Managing Conservator
Visitation Arrangements without Court Involvement
Standard Visitation Order
- Specialized Visitation Schedules
- Deployed Parents
- Supervised Visitation
- Grandparents' Rights
Child Support and
Joint Managing Conservator versus Sole Managing Conservator
Texas Courts presume that divorced parents will become Joint Managing Conservators
of their children. This does not mean that each parent will get equal
time with the children. All it means is that the parents will share the
rights and responsibilities that come with parenthood, including providing
for and making decisions regarding education and medical care for the child.
In some cases, the Court may appoint one parent Sole Managing Conservator
of the child. This means that the one parent will have more of the rights
and responsibilities of parenthood, and may make more decisions regarding
the child's care. The other parent will still be entitled to visitation
with the child.
Whether the parents are named Joint Managing Conservators or one parent
is appointed Sole Managing Conservator, both parents will have access
to the child, and a visitation schedule will need to be established. This
visitation schedule is called a Possession Order. The Possession Order
determines when the child will be with each parent.
Determining Visitation Arrangements without Court Involvement
Many families do not realize that they may create a visitation schedule
without the court's involvement. This judge will almost always abide
with the parents' decision. If the parents decide to modify the agreement
later, they may also do so without court involvement. The court will step
in and create a visitation schedule only in cases where the parents cannot agree.
There are cases where it impossible for the parents to agree, and in those
cases, it's appropriate to let the court decide. However, in many
cases it can be beneficial to try and work out an agreed schedule without
court involvement. This will help keep costs low and avoid subjecting
the family to a potentially emotional ordeal. A parent seeking to create
or modify a visitation arrangement should talk to their lawyer about all
The Standard Visitation Order
If the parents cannot agree on a visitation schedule, the Texas Family
Code sets out a
standard visitation schedule for children three years old and older. This schedule applies in cases
where the parents live less than 100 miles apart. This schedule provides
that the parent the child does not live with has custody on the following days:
Weekends: the first, third, and fifth weekend of each month, beginning either at
the end of school on Friday or 6 PM, and lasting through 6 PM on Sunday.
Thursdays: during the school year, generally from 6 to 8 PM
Minor holidays: the parent the child does not live with will have visitation with the
child from 6 until 8 PM on its birthday. Fathers will have the child on
Father's Day, and mothers will have the child on Mother's Day.
School Breaks: in even numbered years, the parent the child does not live with will
have visitation with the child on Spring Break and Christmas Break through
December 28. The other parent will have the child on Thanksgiving and
for the remainder of Christmas Break. In odd numbered years, that arrangement
is reversed. The non-custodial parent will also have visitation for 30
days during the summer.
You can read more about
Standard Possession Orders in my blog article "Texas Parental Visitation – Texas Standard Possession Orders in Harris
and Montgomery County, Texas – Part 1."
Specialized Visitation Schedules
In certain circumstances, the specialized visitation schedules may be ordered
by the court to account for great distance between the parents or extraordinary
circumstances for the child or parents. This includes the following:
Parents Living More than 100 Miles Apart- The Texas Family Code sets out a modified schedule for parents living more
than 100 miles apart. The parent who does not live with the child will
receive 42 days of visitation over the summer. That parent can also elect
to see the child the first, third, and fifth weekend of each month, or
may elect (with 14 days notice) to see the child just one weekend a month,
depending on the parent's schedule and the distance the child will
have to travel.
Children Under Three Years Old- Where very young children are involved, the court will create a modified
visitation schedule, based on the needs of the child and the preferences
of the parent. Overnight visitation is usually still allowed. When the
child turns three, the standard visitation order will apply, unless the
parents agree differently.
Visitation Where the Custodial Parent Moves-In most situations, the court will impose relocation restrictions on the
parent with whom the child lives. For example, the court may order that
the parent continue to live in the county where they lived during the
divorce, or an adjacent county. This is to protect the child's social
structure as well as protect the other parent's visitation rights.If
the parent with custody of the child decides to move outside of the restricted
area, the court will determine whether the child will move with them.
One of the factors the court will look to in making this determination
is how visitation and communication will be maintained with the other
parent, including who will pay for the child to travel to see the other parent.
Military families have special concerns regarding
military divorce, and
visitation. It is important to voice all of these concerns to your attorney, so that
they can help find a solution that is right for you.
When the Parent the Child Lives With is Deployed- If a custodial parent is going to be deployed, he or she can petition the
court for a temporary order granting custody to another person. This person
can be the other parent, a person chosen by the custodial parent, or a
person chosen by the court. This order will end when the custodial parent
returns home. If the non-custodial parent is granted custody under this
temporary order, then the custodial parent can choose another person (such
as a spouse) to have visitation with the child while the custodial parent
When the Parent with Visitation is Deployed- If a non-custodial parent is going to be deployed, then the non-custodial
parent may choose another person to have visitation with the child while
they are gone. This person must be approved by the court. When the non-custodial
parent returns home, he or she will resume visitation rights.
Supervised visitation is often ordered by the court in cases where there is evidence of family
Supervised Visitation means that the non-custodial parent may not be alone with the child during
Supervised visitation often occurs at a place and time designated by the court.
Generally, parents have the right to decide who can and cannot have access
to their child. This includes barring access to the child's grandparent.
However, grandparents may petition the court for
grandparent rights such reasonable access to their grandchild under the following circumstances:
- The grandparent's child does not have possession of the grandchild.
This could be because the parent is dead, in prison, or has been deemed
incompetent by the court.
- At least one parent must still be alive and have parental rights to the
child. A grandparent cannot petition the court for access if both biological
parents are dead or if the child has been adopted by someone other than
- The grandparent must overcome the presumption that the parent is acting
in the best interest of the child. The grandparent must show that denying
them access to the child will result in significant impairment to the
child's health or well being.
- It is very difficult for a grandparent to be awarded access to a child.
There is no legal remedy available for other family members (such as siblings,
aunts and uncles, or close friends) who are seeking access to a child
against its parent's will.
Child Support and Visitation
duty to support is completely separate from
visitation rights. A parent may not be denied visitation with their child simply because
they are delinquent on
child support payments, and a parent may not discontinue paying child support simply because
they are denied visitation. A parent being denied visitation should speak
with their attorney about filing a
Motion for Enforcement with the court.
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 on regarding
- Grandparents' Rights in Texas
- Grandparent Rights, Standing, and the Parental Presumption
- Divorcing After Age 50 in Texas: What it Can Mean for You and Your Spouse
- 7 Tips for Divorcing After Age 50 in Texas
- Can I sue my spouse's mistress in Texas?
- When is, Cheating Considered Adultery in a Texas Divorce?
- Texas Divorce Morality Clause: Be Careful What You Ask For
- 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
- How am I going to Pay for My Texas Divorce?
- How Much Will My Texas Divorce Cost?
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