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Texas Attorneys Offer Solutions for Parenting Time & Visitation Controversies

Creative and practical arrangements that uphold your parental rights

Texas public policy holds that it is in the best interests of children to have a relationship with both of their parents. As such, joint custody — formally known as joint managing conservatorship —has become the norm. This means sharing parental duties and decision-making authority. However, the child’s primary residence will likely be with one parent. In most all cases, the other parent should be able to spend regular, meaningful visitation, formally known as “parenting time.” Arranging a fair and workable parenting time schedule can be complex for a variety of reasons. At Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP, our family law attorneys protect our clients’ parental rights as we seek creative solutions.

Visitation arrangements for noncustodial parents in Texas 

A court can order a wide range of visitation arrangements, based on the facts of a child custody case. Usually, the court will approve a parenting time schedule that the parents can agree upon. Here are a few arrangements you might consider:

  • Standard visitation — Typically, a parent with a demanding career cannot assume the role of a custodial parent, except on alternating weekends, some weekday evenings. These overnights are generally supplemented with brief, daytime visits and extended overnights during school breaks and holidays. 
  • Extended visitation — A noncustodial parent can enjoy periods of uninterrupted, additional time with their children, such as during summer vacations or extended school breaks. 
  • Virtual visitation — Technology allows noncustodial parents to contact their children electronically, most often through video calls, when physical visitation is not feasible. 
  • Modified visitation — Parents are free to customize visitation arrangements to their family’s specific needs and circumstances. Flexibility is often important to accommodate the parents’ work schedules or travel commitments. 

The most important factor in parenting time decisions is whether continuing contact with the noncustodial parent is in the child’s best interests. The law presumes contact is beneficial, but that presumption can be overridden by evidence that a parent poses a danger to the child’s health or welfare. If the court is in doubt about the influence that contact with the parent might have on the children, visitation might be allowed only under the supervision of a neutral third party trained in child welfare issues. In lieu of supervision, the court might allow visitation under certain conditions or restrictions, such as exchanges taking place at a neutral site, or prohibition of alcohol consumption during visits.

When designing a visitation schedule, it’s important to be realistic and flexible. Certain parents require highly detailed schedules to prevent disputes, while others are able to work cooperatively and adjust to scheduling conflicts that inevitably arise.

Requirements for communication and cooperation between parents 

Parents have a duty to encourage a positive relationship between their children and the other parent. Noncustodial parents should make every effort to maintain the schedule and custodial parents should prepare their children for parenting time. When conflicts arise, the conflicted parent should immediately contact the other to advise about the situation and make a plan to compensate for any lost parenting time. A persistent pattern of interference with a parent’s visitation can draw court sanctions.

The role of your family law attorney in visitation disputes

When you have a dispute over parenting time, you should seek legal advice from a reputable Texas family law attorney. Acting on a partial understanding of child custody law can create greater problems for yourself and your children. Our family law attorneys are adept at forging agreements between parents, even when a case seems inordinately complicated. We can also provide effective legal representation if you must go to court to enforce your parental rights.

Contact our Denton, Texas child custody attorneys today

The child custody attorneys at Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP provide skilled representation for complex visitation cases in Denton, Flower Mound or Gainesville. Call our firm at 940-230-2386 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. 

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