If you are going through a divorce in the state of Texas that involves children, you will need to try to work out a child custody arrangement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. This is not always easy, as there is likely animosity or other negative human emotions that affect these interactions with your ex-spouse. The courts know this as well and, if a fair mutually agreeable plan cannot be reached, it will likely be left for the courts to decide.
In making these decisions, the courts in Texas will include what is called a standard possession order, or SPO. This gives the non-custodial parent specific time with their child or children each month, as designated by the courts. This may include specific nights on certain weeks of the month, as well as weekends and even holidays. There are special rules if the divorcing couple live more than 100 miles away or if the child is under three years of age.
There are additional exemptions from following an SPO, some of which involve a focus on the child’s best interests. If the relationship between the parent and the child was minimal or non-existent, or if the child is under three and did not have frequent ongoing contact with the child in the past, the SPO may not be applicable. Additionally, this holds true if there is a history or concern of family violence.
For any parent who wants to make certain that their child custody visitation rights are properly addressed, it might be in their best interests to speak with a lawyer who is familiar with family law for guidance. Each parent has specific rights, and it is always important to make certain that these rights are properly and legally addressed.
Source: Txaccess.org, “Standard Possession Order and Parenting Time,” Accessed June 26, 2017