When a Texas couple parts ways, but shares a child, one of the most difficult aspects of the aftermath is determining parenting time and adhering to the visitation rights. Understanding how the state law decides on parenting time and whether or not visitation modification is necessary is imperative to parents so they can avoid rancor and disagreements regarding the child. Amicable agreements and contentious battles are possible and everyone needs to know the different laws that are applicable when it comes to visitation.
Texas functions under the assumption that both parents will share the duties and rights to the child. This must be in the best interest of the child. For visitation, the protocol will proceed as follows for parents who reside within 100 miles of one another -- the noncustodial parent will have the child the first, third and fifth weekends each month, on Thursdays of every week, on alternating holidays -- an example is Christmas every other year -- and an extended amount of time of 30 days over summer time off from school.
If more than 100 miles separate the parents, the following will be in place -- the schedule for the weekend might be the same or it could be reduced to once every month, there will not be mid-week visitation, the holiday schedule will stay the same as for fewer than 100 miles and the noncustodial parent will have every spring break with the child and a longer duration in the summer of 42 days. The court has the right to install visitation modifications if it is in the best interest of the child. It can make a Modified Possession Order for shorter visits until it is deemed to be appropriate for there to be a Standard Possession Order.
Parents who are concerned about visitation rights or need assistance with visitation modification based on the circumstances must understand their rights under the law. Discussing the matter with a legal professional who is experienced in child custody can help with a case from the perspective of the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent. That is the first call that should be made to settle a case.
Source: texasattorneygeneral.gov, "Handbook for Non-Custodial Parents -- What about custody and visitation?," accessed on Oct. 31, 2016