When you’re seeking a divorce and you have children, it’s likely that you will need to deal with visitation rights during the process. In 2013, around 50 percent of noncustodial parents had visitation rights with their children. If you want to know more about visitation rights and how they apply to your case, contact one of our family law attorneys.
What Does Child Visitation Law Constitute?
In Texas, child custody is referred to as “conservatorship,” and instead of calling the parent primarily in charge a custodian, he or she is named the child’s “conservator.” However, for ease of reading, we will use the more familiar terms throughout.
The child visitation laws in Texas focus on the rights of any noncustodial parent to visit his or her child. In most cases, these laws provide that parent with the ability to take custody of the child for short periods on specific dates and times. Either the parents agree on a visitation schedule or this schedule is determined by a judge. It’s sometimes possible for these schedules to be altered in the future based on certain events or situations. Child visitation is usually determined by the best interests of the child, which is something that a judge will take into account when deciding on what the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights are going to be.
How Is a Visitation Schedule Determined?
In the state of Texas, there is a standard possession order that provides each parent with equal access to and possession of the child while at the same time focusing on the child’s needs during the school year. It’s also important to understand that the guidelines for creating a schedule for visitation can change if the child is under the age of three. In this case, the child’s circumstances are typically taken into account. Some of the factors that contribute to this decision include:
How available the parents are to act as caregivers
How the child is directly affected by being separated from one parent or the other
Whether any siblings are going to be present during possession of the child
The general needs of the child and the desirability of a basic routine
Some schedules that are made for child visitation will also take holidays into account, which means that one parent may have the child for a few holidays each year with the other parent having custody of the child for the remaining ones. Such schedules vary from one family to the next for any number of reasons. The primary one would be the needs of the individual children involved. The focus of the schedule is intended to be based on the requirements of the child rather than those of the parents.
Keep in mind that visitation rights and the right to possession of the child for a specific period can be altered depending on the distance of the noncustodial parent from the child. A change may be implemented based on whether or not that parent lives within 100 miles. Any requested modifications to the initial schedule created for visitation will depend on whether the alterations fit with the best interests of the child in question. What’s best for the youngster this year may not be best five years from now.
How a Family Law Attorney Can Assist You
If you’re going through the lengthy divorce process and trying to determine what visitation you will have with your son or daughter, you may want to contact one of our professional family law attorneys here at Steward Law PLLC. We understand the statutes in Texas that pertain to visitation rights, and we can help clear up any confusion that you might have on the matter. We’re also able to assist with divorce cases and provide you with representation in court. Since child custody and visitation rights can be among the more complicated aspects of a divorce, you may want to seek professional legal counsel to guide you through the process.
If you’re getting ready to file for divorce and would like to know more about your visitation rights, call our Baytown office to speak with a family law attorney who can address your questions.