In Texas, parents have a legal right to see their children and their children have a legal right to maintain an ongoing relationship with each of their parents, even if the mother and father were never married or are no longer married.
Standard Possession Orders in Texas
In Texas family law, child visitation is referred to as “possession and access.” Texas has a statutory “Standard Possession Order” which, if ordered, allows each parent to have regular and frequent possession and access to their children. Terms of the basic Standard Possession Order typically allow the noncustodial parent to have possession of the child a couple of hours every Thursday night; on the first, third and fifth weekends of each month; on alternating holidays; and the month of July each summer. When parents live more than 100 miles apart, the weekend placements decrease to one time per month but summer placement extends from 30 to 42 days.
Modified Visitation Schedules
When children are very young (under 3), disabled, or when there has been Family Violence or abuse, the standard possession order is not well suited and different orders are necessary. Likewise, when parents have unique work schedules, travel frequently or are in the military a modified or custom visitation schedule will be needed. Ultimately the “Best Interests of the Child” is the guiding principle and Court Orders can be as unique as the parties themselves.
A well thought out possession and access order will lead to less conflict and a more harmonious post-divorce relationship between both the parties AND their children.
Shared or 50/50 Visitation Schedules
Texas Courts have been slow to adopt true shared or 50/50 visitation schedules despite multiple studies that conclude they are better for children in certain circumstances. Even so, each year there are more parents who agree to shared visitation schedules and increasingly Judges are starting to accept them when circumstances warrant it.
Need Help with Child Visitation Orders?
The Burgfechtel Law Offices, PLLC helps divorcing couples and unmarried parents negotiate workable child visitation agreements, with emphasis on the best interests of the children, so that the children can maintain a real parent/child relationship with each parent even after they have separated. Call us today for a free phone consultation about how we can assist with your child’s visitation needs.