Who gets the rights to the child?
The details of each particular divorce notwithstanding, the starkest contrast between each parent is in regard to which parent is able to determine the primary residence of the child. This parent, known as the custodial parent, has the child under their roof more often than not. The other parent, known as the noncustodial parent, will follow a schedule of possession and access either set by the parties or the Court.
Best Interest of the Child
The best interests standard is how a Court will determine visitation with both parents. Stability of the home, finances, school-related activities and the age of the child are all factors that are considered by the Court.
If the child is over the age of twelve, their preference is considered by the Court as well. Texas Courts have what's called a "Standard Possession Order" (often abbreviated as an SPO) or an expanded Standard Possession Order that will often times go into effect in a final order from the Court.
Standard Possession Order
Without delving into too much detail, a Standard Possession Order or a SPO entails visitation for the child with the non custodial parent on the first, third and fifth weekends of each month typically from 6:00 p.m. on Friday until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, thirty days of time in the summer and holidays that alternate each year.
An expanded SPO allows the noncustodial parent to have extended visitation with the child as compared to the normal possession order. Practically speaking this means being able to pick the child up from school to begin their weekend of possession and to take the child to school the following Monday.
While a noncustodial parent under an SPO has the right to visit the child from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday each week, the expanded order holds that the child may be picked up from school on Thursday and returned to school on Friday. While these expansions may seem minimal, taken over the course of the year it can amount to a substantial gain in time with the child for the non custodial parent.
Enforcement of a Court's Orders
An important item to point out is that just because the custodial parent has physical custody of the child more often than the noncustodial parent, that doesn't mean he or she has the ability to deny the noncustodial parent visitation, possession or access to the child. Parents who are being denied visitation by a custodial parent have the ability to file for enforcement of the Court orders to ensure they are able to spend time with their child.
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC represent persons with children involved in custody disputes and divorces. Please contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you and your family.
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Tomball, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Tomball, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Tomball 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, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Tomball, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.