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How visitation rights are organized in Texas

If a Texas couple shares a child, the law strives to keep have both parents involved with the child's life and allow each parent to share a relationship with children. To that end, there are certain baseline rules for non-custodial parents to understand when it comes to visitation rights and the best interests of the child. Technically, each parent is supposed to have certain periods to spend with the child. There are certain specific times in which the non-custodial parent is meant to have the child.

If the parents are living within 100 miles of one another, the non-custodial parent will have visitation rights every month on the first, third and fifth weekends. Every week, there will be visitation on a Thursday. The non-custodial parent will have the child on alternating holidays annually -- for example, every other Christmas. In the summer, there will be an extended period of 30 days. Parents who live more than 100 miles apart will might have the same weekend schedule as those who are living less than 100 miles apart or it could be limited to one weekend per month. There will not be any visitation mid-week. The holiday schedule will be the same. There will be a longer period during the summer of 42 days as well as time spent with the non-custodial parent during spring break.

Other factors could be important in the determination. Included are the best interests of the child. If the child is under 3-years-old or if the non-custodial parent did not have a significant relationship with the child, there could be what is known as a Modified Possession Order. This will begin the process of the non-custodial parent and the child growing accustomed to one another with visits that do not last as long at first, but are then extended as the Standard Possession Order that is customary is achieved. The key is to keep the child's best interests in mind.

When there is a concern about child custody and visitation rights, it is important for both parents to grasp the laws of the state and how the relationship with children is handled. Speaking to a legal professional whether the parent is coming from the perspective of the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent is key when seeking a satisfactory outcome.

Source: Office of the Texas Attorney General, "What about custody and visitation?," accessed on Oct. 6, 2015

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