Southlake Visitation Attorney
Visitation Rights in Southlake, TX
Are you facing visitation issues and seeking expert legal guidance in Southlake, Texas? The Law Office Of Mark M. Childress is here to assist you. Our experienced team of family law attorneys specializes in visitation matters and is dedicated to protecting the rights of parents and the best interests of the children involved. With our extensive knowledge of Texas family law and a compassionate approach, we strive to achieve favorable outcomes for our clients in visitation cases.
Understanding Visitation Rights in Texas
Visitation, also known as "parenting time," refers to the schedule and arrangement that allows a non-custodial parent to spend time with their child after a divorce or separation. In Texas, courts prioritize the child's well-being when making decisions about visitation.
The primary goal is to promote a stable and nurturing environment for the child while maintaining a healthy relationship with both parents, whenever possible. When deciding visitation, the courts take the best interest of the child into consideration.
When deciding visitation, the courts will often look at the following factors:
- The child's age
- The child's relationship with both parents
- The amount of time the child spends with each parent
- The child's preference
- The child's adjustment to home, school, and community
- Each parent's willingness to facilitate and encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent
- Each parent's willingness to facilitate the child's continuing relationship with the other parent, including the willingness to make it easy for the other parent to visit the child
- The physical, mental, and moral fitness of both parents
- Any history of domestic violence
Common Types of Visitation Schedules
There are several common types of visitation schedules that courts may consider when determining the appropriate arrangement for the non-custodial parent. These schedules can be modified to suit the specific needs and circumstances of each family.
Here are some of the common types of visitation schedules in Texas:
- Standard Possession Order (SPO): The Standard Possession Order is the default visitation schedule used in many Texas custody cases. It provides specific guidelines for visitation based on the child's age and distance between the parents' residences. For example, if the parents live within 100 miles of each other, the non-custodial parent typically has visitation on the first, third, and fifth weekends of each month, as well as one evening during the week. If the parents live more than 100 miles apart, the non-custodial parent may have visitation for one extended weekend per month.
- Expanded Standard Possession Order: This visitation schedule is similar to the Standard Possession Order but provides additional visitation time for the non-custodial parent. It may include extended weekend visits, longer periods during school breaks, and more time during the summer months.
- Modified Possession Order: A Modified Possession Order is a customized visitation schedule that deviates from the Standard Possession Order to better fit the family's unique circumstances. This schedule may be necessary when the parents' work schedules, the child's extracurricular activities, or other factors require a more flexible arrangement.
- Supervised Visitation: In cases where the court determines that unsupervised visitation may be detrimental to the child's well-being, it may order supervised visitation. This means that the non-custodial parent can only see the child in the presence of a designated third-party supervisor.
- Long-Distance Visitation Schedule: When one parent lives a significant distance away from the child, such as in another state, a long-distance visitation schedule may be established. This schedule typically includes longer visitation periods during school breaks and holidays to make up for the distance between the parents.
- Split Custody: In some cases, when there are multiple children involved, the court may order split custody, where each parent becomes the primary custodian for one or more of the children. This can lead to unique visitation schedules based on the ages and needs of the children.
Enforcing Your Visitation
When a parent is not following the visitation schedule as outlined in the court-ordered visitation order, the other parent may take legal action to enforce the order.
Here's an overview of the steps involved in enforcing visitation orders in Texas:
- Documentation: The first step is to document the violations of the visitation order. Keep a detailed record of missed visitations, canceled plans, or any other actions that demonstrate non-compliance with the visitation schedule. It is essential to have concrete evidence to support your claim.
- Communication: Attempt to communicate with the non-compliant parent to resolve the issue amicably. Sometimes, misunderstandings or temporary challenges may lead to visitation violations. Open communication may help address these issues without the need for legal intervention.
- Mediation: If direct communication does not resolve the matter, consider attending mediation. Mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps both parents work through their differences and reach a mutually acceptable resolution. It can be a less confrontational and more constructive approach to resolving visitation issues.
- Motion for Enforcement: If informal methods fail, the parent who is being denied visitation can file a Motion for Enforcement with the court that issued the visitation order. This is a formal legal action that requests the court to enforce the visitation order and take appropriate actions against the non-compliant parent.
- Contempt of Court: If the court finds the non-compliant parent in contempt of the visitation order, various penalties may be imposed, such as fines, make-up visitation, or even potential jail time in extreme cases. The court's primary goal is to ensure the child's best interests and the enforcement of the visitation order.
- Modification of the Visitation Order: In some cases, the visitation order may need to be modified if the non-compliant parent consistently fails to follow the existing schedule. The court may consider adjusting the visitation arrangement to better suit the child's and parents' needs.
- Custody Evaluation: If there are ongoing and severe issues with visitation compliance, the court may order a custody evaluation to assess the overall fitness of each parent and the impact on the child's well-being.
It is imperative to work with an experienced family law attorney in Texas when dealing with visitation order enforcement. An attorney can guide you through the legal process, advocate for your rights, and ensure that the best interests of the child are protected throughout the enforcement proceedings.
Compassionate Advocacy, Tenacious Representation
At the Law Office Of Mark M. Childress, we understand that visitation matters can be emotionally taxing. Our team is dedicated to providing compassionate support to our clients while maintaining a tenacious approach to protect their rights and the interests of their children. We will keep you informed at every step of the legal process, ensuring you are empowered to make well-informed decisions about your case.
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“Value a capable team with experienced staff. For the past 9 months, the folks at the Law Offices of Mark Childress handled my case with class and empathy. My questions were heard and answered without having to ask twice. I felt like I was kept in the loop and always briefed properly. As I move forward with other ventures I wouldn't be surprised if we crossed paths again. And hats off to Konner, THANK YOU!”
Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client.
“I needed an attorney who would stand up for me and my child during a very hard time. Mark was there to answer every question, every phone call and did it in a way that I felt as if I were his only client. He was very knowledgeable not only about the law but about the opposing attorney and the judge. He prepared me well and we won our case. I would recommend Mark Childress to anyone who is fighting for custody or in need of child support.”
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“I called in inquiring about a divorce and how it all happens. I had 2 people call me back within an hour and in an hour maybe 2 I was talking with the lawyer. I highly recommend him and his staff. They are courteous, prompt and they care. Divorce is the hardest thing we will go through minus losing a kid and his team will be retained. He even called me back himself the next day to see how I was. Great service.”
This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years.
“This guy is amazing. In a matter of minutes, he accomplished what no other attorney could in 6 years. He had my case figured out in 1short conversation and had what he called "a convoluted mess" fixed. I'm pretty sure my ex felt like he'd been hit by a bus. My family is finally in tact and everyone is finally happy.”
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Our Attorneys personally handle each case themselves. You will have direct access to your attorney to be able to get the answers that you need.
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At our firm you're not just a case number, our staff will always know the status of your case and help to make your situation more manageable.
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