Divorces involving minor children are often among the most complicated marital dissolutions. The parents are often eager for the divorce to be finalized, but their children may not be. They may be afraid of the future, of not having both parents when they need them and of changes that seem to threaten their lives. Partly because of this, courts all across the country, including those in Texas, assume the mantle of responsibility in making sure children’s best interests are met wherever possible.
When it comes to determining where a child will live, a court often awards child custody to one parent and then order the other to pay child support. The noncustodial parent is also granted visitation rights in order to maintain a regular relationship with the child unless the parent presents a danger to the child’s well-being.
Texas offers four types of visitation, which is also known as “possession” or “access” — standard possession, modified possession, modified under-three possession and supervised visitation. The terms for modified possession vary and depend on various factors, including the parents’ needs and the child’s age. An example would be increased parental visitation time as the child grows older.
With a modified under-three possession order, a court may specifically state that a child is not allowed to stay with the noncustodial parent during certain hours or days until the child has reached a specific age — for example, anytime before 10:00 a.m. or after 8:00 p.m. The custodial parent, however, must cooperate with the noncustodial parent to ensure that the person has regular access to the child.
In fact, parents are expected to abide by all conditions and restrictions listed in any child-custody order. Failure to do so can bring sanctions from a family law court.
Source: TYLA.org, “What to Expect in Texas Family Law Court,” Accessed on May 5, 2015