Not every Houston parent will emerge from a divorce with all their parental rights intact. That is because courts are tasked with protecting the best interests of children, and if allowing a parent to retain certain custodial or conservatorship rights may emotionally or physically harm the child, those parental rights may be severed. When a parent is not allowed to have their child live with them after a divorce, that parent may be able to secure visitation rights with them.
Visitation in Texas allows a parent both possession of and access to their child. Visitation is generally established by a schedule that tells the child’s parents when the child may be with the non-custodial parent. If a child’s parents can make a visitation schedule that they both agree with, that schedule may be used. However, courts can step in and make visitation schedules if agreement between the parents is not possible.
Visitation plans can vary greatly from family to family and from child to child. For some, a non-custodial parent may be allowed to take their child unsupervised, spend long periods of time with them, and be trusted to return their child to the custodial parent at a specific place and time. This is called unsupervised visitation. For others, a court may determine that visitation between a child and their non-custodial parent should be supervised and then a third party must be present to ensure the safety of the child during the period of visitation.
When custody and conservatorship of a child is not possible, a parent can work to ensure that they have fair and adequate visitation time with their child. Visitation can help parents stay connected with their kids even after their marital relationships end. To better understand the visitation process, parents may consult with their trusted divorce and family law attorneys for case-specific support.