Divorce changes many dynamics of a household, and those changes can heavily impact children. In most situations, it is important for the children of divorcing parents to continue their relationship with both parties to create a more stable life.

Barring any instances of abuse, typically both parents receive visitation rights with their children. However, when one parent does not honor the agreed-upon visitation schedule, it can put the other parent and the children in an unfair situation.

Our family law firm understands how an uncooperative co-parent can put your visitation rights at risk. Therefore, one of our Houston visitation lawyers could help you protect your rights and get the time with your children that you, and they, deserve.

Parent-Child Visitation Law in Houston

After a divorce, co-parents must create a visitation schedule based on who has physical custody of the children. If both parents have custody, the plan should include visitation dates and times for both parents. If only one parent has custody, the schedule should reflect the visitation dates and times for the non-custodial parent.

Standard Possession Orders

If the parents cannot agree on a schedule, the court will file a Standard Possession Order, which is a visitation schedule based on how far apart both parents live. In Houston, the non-custodial parent is allowed shorter, more frequent visits if they live within 100 miles of the custodial parent. If they live farther than 100 miles, they get less frequent, more extended stays.

Modified Possession Orders

The court shall issue a Modified Possession Order if the children are young and have had little-to-no contact with the non-custodial parent thus far. This order grants the parent short visits that will gradually get longer until they meet the length detailed in a Standard Possession Order. The court can amend Modified and Standard Possession Orders at any time if it is in the children’s best interest. A lawyer in Houston could help someone negotiate with their co-parent to create a visitation schedule that meets both of their needs as well as the needs of their children.

How Visitation is Determined

Either the parents or the court can choose who gets visitation with the children after a divorce. Factors that influence this decision often include:

  • Each home’s stability
  • The children’s expressed preference
  • How far each parent lives from the children’s school(s) and other family members
  • Each parent’s physical and mental health
  • If there is a history of abuse or any other criminal activity

In cases where a child’s safety may be at risk when visiting with one parent, the court may order supervised visitation. During supervised visitation, a parent may only see their children when another adult is present. This person can be the other parent, a grandparent, or someone who is appointed by the court. A person might receive supervised visitation if the court feels they are unfit to care for their children on their own. Someone with a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, or any physical or psychological abuse toward children may be required to have another present during visits with their child. A lawyer in Houston could help a parent determine how visitation might work in their situation.

Speak with a Houston Visitation Attorney

The custodial parent’s aloofness or unreliability can sometimes impede the non-custodial parent’s time with their children. This can be frustrating and can jeopardize a parent’s rights altogether. If your co-parent’s actions are impeding on your time with your children, contact a Houston visitation lawyer to learn how to protect your rights and your relationship with your child.