Houston Visitation Lawyer
Child Custody Scheduling, Supervision, and More
During a divorce, reaching a conservatorship agreement in which both parents retain physical custody over the child(ren) is an extremely common situation. In most cases, parents can collaborate to work out the details of a visitation schedule. However, a lack of cooperation can lead to a bitter situation in which your visitation rights are infringed upon or your custody rights are put in jeopardy by unreasonable visitation demands.
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we understand your role in raising your children is extremely important to you and will work diligently to protect your child's best interests.
To learn more about your legal options, call our Houston visitation lawyers today at (713) 766-5355.
Who Decides the Visitation Arrangement?
In the absence of a legally binding parenting agreement detailing each parents visitation time with the child following the divorce or custody case, it’s a mistake to believe that the parent with physical custody over the child typically determines what reasonable visitation for the non-custodial parent is. Generally speaking, in the absence of an agreement or Court order in Texas one parent will have custody of the child pursuant to a Standard Possession Order.
Typically a Standard Possession Order in Texas gives both parents set visitation with the child during the weekdays, weekends, holidays and summers. While is the Standard Possession Order is frequently satisfactory to all parties, there are situations where is it not a workable visitation schedule. For this reason, courts typically ask for parents to come to an official and binding parenting agreement through mediation or other means that details the visitation arrangement.
Why Hire an Attorney?
Certain aspects of a conservatorship case can be extremely divisive and emotional, and this is especially true when it comes to custody rights of a child or children.
When you hire an attorney, you’re not only protecting your own rights to visit your child, but you’re also protecting your child’s right to be visited by their parents. When you choose the attorneys of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, you even have the option of hiring a personal attorney to fight for your rights, or a mediator to help you and the child’s other parent come to an amicable compromise.
Parenting Plans vs. The Texas Standard Possession Order
There are several different types of visitation agreements to choose from, and finalizing one is largely dependent on your own schedule, the relationship you had with your child before your conservatorship case, and your current relationship with your child’s other parent. Depending on the nature of your divorce, you may find that either a parenting agreement designed by you and your child’s other parent or the Texas Standard Possession Order is more suitable to your family’s needs.
A Parenting Plan schedule usually includes the following:
- Set times and days for visitation during the school year
- Holiday and Summer visitation
- Parameters for modification of the plan
- A court order which enforces the schedule
- Other provisions for preserving the child’s interests, including limiting contact between the parents (if necessary)
A parenting agreement can offer the same level of predictability as Texas Standard Possession Order, but also provides the flexibility of your own design, which can mold more easily to you and your child's needs.
A Texas Standard Possession Order features the following:
- Set expectations for visitation during the weekends and weekdays
- Division of holidays
- Division of summer
- Parameters for modification of the plan
- A court order which makes the plan legally enforceable
With an enforceable court order backing up your plan, you will have strong legal ground to protect your access to your child. To begin looking at your options and drafting up this agreement, speak with a Houston visitation attorney from Holmes, Diggs & Sadler at (713) 766-5355.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most parents are desperate to close this chapter of their lives so they can move forward, take care of their children, and begin to reclaim their lives. If your visitation rights as a parent are on the line, however, we know you’ll stay in that fight to the very end. Before getting started on your case, knowing the answer to these questions may be helpful.
If your question isn’t below, or if you have specific questions about your situation, then call us at (713) 766-5355 to schedule an appointment.
How will a court decide custody and visitation?
Judges consider several factors before making a final judgment.. This may look into several unique aspects of each relationship, from caretaker/child relationships to any history of abuse between the parent and child. Next, several developmental factors go into play: How old is the child? Do they have a disability or special developmental requirements? Where will the child live and go to school? What are their specific medical needs?
For a more detailed discussion about your specific situation, you’ll need to speak with an attorney.
How do I enforce my visitation rights?
It may be tempting to react aggressively and swiftly if your ex-spouse refuses to let you visit your children, changing the visitation schedule erratically, or otherwise preventing you from seeing your children when it is your turn. Part of having a healthy relationship with them and fostering a sense of security is to remain civil with your ex. If a direct discussion doesn’t do the trick, however, it may be wise to involve an attorney to mediate. If this option fails to address the problem either, then ask your attorney to file for enforcement as a last option. It is within your rights to contact a Holmes, Diggs and Sadler to speak with an attorney to discuss to enforce your visitation rights.
How does a child visitation order work?
Both the custodial and non-custodial parents can discuss their preferred schedules in the presence of a mediator who can help them reach an equitable conclusion. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will determine the visitation schedules for each parent. A visitation schedule is drafted up and agreed upon by all parties involved, it gets taken to court to be transformed into a legally enforceable document. From then on, it’s important that both spouses maintain the schedule to the best of their abilities to keep a sense of stability in their children’s lives.
Houston Supervised Visitation Attorneys
The most important thing you can do is make sure that your children are protected. Texas family law courts are also under an obligation to make sure that the needs of children take top priority in any custody or visitation decision. In some cases, that may mean a parent is only allowed supervised visitation with their child.
While family law courts prioritize the best interests and safety of the child, the courts must also consider the rights of each parent when settling on a visitation agreement in custody situations. Sole custody is typically only awarded in situations where the court deems one parent unfit to care for the child. Often, in such circumstances, it is unsafe to allow the non-custodial parent to have access to the child without continuous supervision by another unbiased adult.
Because of this, the safest option for both parent and child is supervised visitation. Supervised visitation is a court order that restricts a non-custodial parent to visit a child only under the supervision of another responsible party.
If you are involved in a dispute over child visitation rights, our team of experienced lawyers offers parents a compassionate shoulder to lean on while clearly laying out all your legal options.
Why Would I Need Supervised Visitation?
Supervised visitation, above all, serves to protect the child. Children need to be cared for by loving and responsible adults in a safe and stable environment. There may be various reasons that lead a court to believe a child would be unsafe in the care of a parent.
In those situations, supervised visitation may be the only way for the parent to remain in contact with the child without compromising the child’s well-being. The goal is to keep the parent-child relationship functional while maintaining a safe space.
Here are a few examples of situations that may warrant supervised visitation:
- History of mental or physical abuse towards the child
- Drug or alcohol addiction
- Threat of abduction
- Mental illness
- Domestic violence towards the child
- Sexual abuse towards the child
The courts want to keep the best interests of the child in mind. Sometimes, cutting off a parent-child relationship is detrimental to a child’s well-being. Supervised visitation helps keep a bond going while allowing the other parent peace of mind that their child is being looked after responsibly.
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, our Houston visitation attorneys will review your entire case in order to give you the legal advice you need to make the best decisions for your family and your future.
Making Sure Visitation Time is Productive
We understand that, depending on the circumstances, you may be uncomfortable with the thought of your child being near someone you don’t fully trust.
You want to stay as informed as possible. Here are a few things you may want to watch for:
- Does the parent show up to the scheduled visit?
- Is the other parent arriving for the visits on time?
- Do they bring others to the visit with them who could jeopardize the child’s safety?
Supervised visits are not easy, and there may be a period of adjustment that needs to take place before things can smooth out. However, it is important to pay attention to patterns. If there is a perpetual pattern of a parent showing up late or not showing up at all, there may be a problem.
Having a family law attorney on your side means you have someone to share your concerns with and take legal recourse if necessary.
How Our Team Can Help You Navigate Your Case
If you are unsure about your rights and options regarding a visitation schedule for your family following a divorce, you should seek professional guidance in order to protect your interests. At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we offer aggressive and effective representation and will work diligently to protect your relationship with your child.
For an initial consultation to discuss the details of your case, call our lawyers today at (713) 766-5355.
A Team-Based Approach
When you hire one attorney at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, you receive the experience, knowledge and insight of our team.
Always Prepared for Trial
Our attorneys prepare for war so we can negotiate peace. We are not afraid to go to trial if it is in the client's best interest.
Each case is reviewed by our team to ensure we are crafting a case strategy that will help you achieve a satisfactory result.
We Put Clients First
At our firm, the client drives our goals. We put you and your needs first while focusing on providing a personalized approach for your unique case.
“They are extremely conscientious and smart and are excellent trial lawyers.”- Gina F.
“I would highly recommend HD&S to anyone needing family law representation in the Houston area.”- James M.
“HD&S gave me great advice, stayed on top of things, and explained everything very clearly to me.”- Chris G.