An Overview of Visitation in Texas Family Law Cases

An Overview of Visitation in Texas Family Law Cases

When it comes to family law in Texas, knowing your rights and responsibilities about visitation is crucial. This article offers a straightforward overview of visitation in Texas family law cases, providing parents and guardians with the essential information they need. Stay ahead in your understanding of these important legal nuances with our expert guide.

Visitation in Texas Family Law: An Overview

When settling visitation terms in child custody or divorce cases, the precision of the final order is crucial. Agreements reached in mediation must be clearly articulated in writing to avoid future disputes. This is where an experienced family law attorney becomes invaluable. They not only guide you through the advantages and disadvantages of your stance but also ensure that the final order accurately reflects the mediated agreements.

The Role of a Skilled Attorney

Even after settling your case, meticulous attention to the final order’s language is essential. Your attorney plays a key role in this phase, advocating for fairness and clarity in the order. The goal is to prevent any ambiguity that could lead to misunderstandings or conflicts later on.

Practical Tips for the Final Stages

In today’s blog post, we will share practical advice for navigating the final stages of your case. It’s frustrating to conclude a case, only to discover that the final order misses crucial details or doesn’t align with your expectations. While this is rare, understanding why it happens is important. We’ll delve into specific aspects of final orders to help you secure the best outcome for your family.

Ensuring the success of your child visitation settlement is about more than just reaching an agreement; it’s about translating that agreement into a clear, enforceable order. Stay tuned for our detailed insights that could make a significant difference in your case.

Key Considerations for Visitation Orders in Texas Family Law

Returning Personal Items

In Texas family law, it’s vital to have clear guidelines in your final orders regarding the return of personal items after visitation. This includes clothing, toys, and medicine. Imagine the inconvenience of missing essential items like winter jackets or bathing suits because they weren’t returned by the other parent. To prevent such scenarios, ensure your order includes a mandate for both parties to return these items.

Flexible Pick-up and Drop-off Arrangements

Balancing visitation schedules with today’s hectic lifestyles calls for flexibility. Most orders acknowledge this by allowing any responsible adult designated by you or the other parent to handle pick-ups and drop-offs. This clause is crucial for convenience, even if it means involving new partners in the process. Make sure your order reflects this flexibility to accommodate busy schedules.

Communication in Case of Absence from School

An Overview of Visitation in Texas Family Law Cases

A case from last year highlights the importance of clear communication in visitation orders. A client, responsible for his son during weekends, faced an issue when his son fell ill and missed school on Monday.

Although he informed the school and attempted to notify the child’s mother, the lack of specific language in the order about notifying both the school and the other parent led to unnecessary confusion and almost escalated into a conflict. To avoid such misunderstandings, it’s essential to include a clause in your order stating that both parents must inform each other and the school in case of the child’s absence due to illness or any other reason.

These tips aim to ensure a smoother visitation process, minimizing misunderstandings and maintaining the best interests of the child. Remember, specificity in your orders can make a significant difference in managing these situations effectively.

Concerns With Drug Use Should Be Reflected in the Order

Many parents find themselves in a position where there are legitimate concerns about their child’s other parent using drugs or alcohol to the detriment of the safety and well-being of their child. If you are in this same position, you may have had drug or alcohol tests administered upon the other parent during your case. Depending on the results, your final orders may restrict the other parent’s visitation rights as a result.

If you find that drug or alcohol abuse is a long-standing issue, make sure to negotiate and include language in your final orders that mandates ongoing drug tests. These tests may cease with a series of negative results but could continue if the other parent fails to remain sober. The orders must specify who will pay for the tests, their frequency, and the consequences for the parent if a test is positive.

Additionally, a common restriction is to prevent both parents from consuming alcohol in front of your child, or to limit consumption to a maximum of one or two drinks.

What to Do About Traveling on an Airplane?

For many families who have a parent in the military or live a great distance from Texas, air travel is necessary when exercising visitation rights. While there are usually no hiccups for air travel for visitation purposes, a child younger than 7 or 8 should not be traveling alone on an airplane.

Before you sign an order regarding airplane visitation, you and the other party must decide how to allocate travel costs and what restrictions to include. Sometimes, even if you wish to fly with your child, the order might require you to inform the other parent about your travel dates and provide contact information for emergencies.

Additionally, discuss passport provisions for your final orders with your attorney. In several cases, parents have tried to secretly take their child to another country or state by keeping a passport longer than the court orders allow.

Many orders state that parents agree that a neutral party should hold on to a passport while no travel occurs to avoid situations like this. If your ex-spouse is from another country and you have no ties there, you may want to push for you to be the party to hold the passport to ensure that unauthorized travel does not occur.

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

An Overview of Visitation in Texas Family Law Cases

We will continue to discuss this subject as we discuss how blended families, religion, and electronic communication can be successfully dealt with in a visitation order.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about what you’ve read today, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. We offer free of charge consultations with a licensed family law attorney where your questions can be answered, and information can be provided about the services that our office can provide you with.

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