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Noncustodial parents and their access rights

Texas parents who do not have custody of their kids may still have a variety of access rights. Even parents who have been completely denied possession could have some visitation access to their children, whether supervised or unsupervised.

Usually, access is determined by the court during a child custody hearing. In some instances, the court will specify the access schedule, detailing when the noncustodial parent will see their child. This schedule could include weekends, vacations and holidays as well as weeknight access. However, courts usually issue visitation schedules only if the parents cannot come to an agreement on their own.

Some parents might be denied both possession and access. The reasons for this may include a past history of drug or alcohol abuse, evidence of domestic abuse against the child, proof that the parent has not kept in contact with their child or terminated their parenting rights or proof that the parent has not used their parenting rights in the past. However, being denied access does not mean the parent cannot later regain access to their child. For some, the court might provide a detailed plan to help the parent regain access rights. This may include a variety of steps the parent must follow, including taking parenting classes. In some cases, the parent might also be granted supervised access in which a third person must be present during the visit.

Parents who are seeking access might find it helpful to consult with a family law lawyer who can explain their rights. The lawyer could also provide representation in court during a custody hearing.

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