Houston Visitation Lawyer
During a divorce, reaching a custody agreement in which one parent retains physical custody over the child or children while the other parent is granted reasonable visitation is an extremely common situation. In most cases the details of a visitation schedule can be worked out between the parents which suits each party’s schedules while keeping the interests of the child in mind, but 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, our legal team is committed to providing our clients with knowledgeable guidance and advice throughout the custody settlement process and is prepared to offer aggressive and firm representation in order to protect your rights and interests. We understand that your role in raising your children is extremely important to you, and will work diligently to protect it. To learn more about your legal options, call our Houston visitation lawyers today at (713) 802-1777.
Why Hire an Attorney
Certain aspects of a divorce can be extremely divisive and emotional, and this is especially true when it comes to custody rights of a child or children. Even when custody is decided and settled, the battle may not yet be over. Whether you’re the custodial parent or non-custodial, determining visitation rights can be just as important to the emotional health of your child as physical custody may be to their physical health. Experts agree that, in the best of circumstances, children will have both parents in their life to help them thrive and grow. When you hire an attorney, you’re not only protecting your own rights to visit your child, you’re protecting your child’s right to be visited by their parents. An attorney will help to keep the situation calm, expedite the process, and provide suggestions that are equitable of every party. Hiring an attorney can help to keep tensions low and keep the conversation on track. 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 your ex-spouse come to an amicable compromise.
Why Choose Holmes, Diggs & Sadler
Holmes, Diggs & Sadler has been an integral part of the Houston community for nearly 20 years now. Cindy Diggs, the firm’s lead attorney of the Houston branch, is board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law and she is joined by a team of nine attorneys, five paralegals, and several staff members. The team has glowing testimonials, where three words stand out from the rest: knowledgeable, honest, and recommended. The team is entirely dedicated to their clients, focusing solely on family law over the course of their careers. They’re tough attorneys in the court and compassionate lawyers in their office.
Parenting Plans vs Fixed Visitation
There are several different types of visitation agreements that exist, and choosing one is largely dependent on your own schedule, the relationship you had with your child before the divorce, and your current relationship with your spouse. Depending on the nature of your divorce, you may find that either a parenting agreement designed by you and your ex or a fixed visitation schedule established by the court is more suitable to your family’s needs. A fixed visitation schedule will usually include the following:
- Set times and places for visitation
- A court order which enforces the schedule
- Limited contact between the parents so as to avoid hostility and protect the interests of the child
A parenting agreement can offer the same level of predictability in a regular schedule, but offers the flexibility of your own design which will often be much more understanding of the particular needs of both parents as well as the needs of the child. A parenting agreement will typically feature the following:
- Set expectations for visitation
- Division of holidays
- 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 an attorney from Holmes, Diggs & Sadler at (713) 802-1777 to set up a consultation. The sooner your visitation rights are locked into place, the sooner you can begin to relax knowing your child has stability in their life again and quality time with both of their parents.
Frequently Asked Questions
When going through a divorce, 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. To get started on your case, we’ve provided a few frequently asked questions that we receive. If your question isn’t below, or if you have specific questions about your situation, then call us at (713) 802-1777 to schedule an appointment with us.
How will a court decide custody and visitation?
There are several things a judge will look at and consider before such decisions are made. Current custody agreements, both physical and legal, will be a primary consideration, followed by financial, legal, and personal backgrounds of both parents. 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, and specific medical needs. For a more detailed discussion about your specific situation, you’ll need to speak with an attorney about your situation.
How do I go about enforcing my visitation rights?
It may be tempting to react aggressively and swiftly in the case that your ex-spouse is refusing to let you visit with your children, changing the visitation schedule erratically, or otherwise preventing you from seeing your children when it is your turn. It is within your rights to contact a Domestic Relations Office to send an enforcement of the agreed visitation details to your ex. However, you may wish to deal with it in a different manner for the sake of your children. Part of having a healthy relationship with them and fostering a sense of security is to remain civil with your ex. If the 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.
How does a child visitation order work?
Coming up with an appropriate schedule for visitation can be a challenge. It’s a good idea to discuss both the custodial parent and non-custodial parents’ preferred schedules in the presence of a mediator who can help them both come to an equitable conclusion. After this document 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.
If you are unsure about your rights and options regarding a visitation schedule for your family following a divorce, it is essential that you seek professional guidance in order to protect your interests. At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we offer aggressive and effective representation which will work diligently to protect your relationship with your child. For an initial consultation to discuss the details of your case, call our Houston divorce lawyers today at (713) 802-1777.