Divorce can be traumatizing for parents and children alike. Both may wonder how frequently they will be able to spend time with and see each other, and these concerns can cause acute family stress.
Custody concerns are often particularly difficult for fathers, as many believe that courts favor maternal care.
What should you know about visitation law?
In Texas, courts determine custody by evaluating what is in the best interests of the child, but the general goal is for the child to have visitation with both parents. Under a Standard Possession Order in Texas, parents can determine possession of the child themselves through agreement.
If the parents do not agree on custody terms — and there are no extenuating factors — a significant factor in visitation rights is distance. If parents live within 100 miles of one another, the noncustodial adult has a minimum of the following time with their child:
- Every first, third and fifth weekend of the month
- Thursday evenings
- Alternating holidays
- An extended period during the summer
For parents that live more than 100 miles away from one another, a judge may reduce the monthly visitation to one weekend with no Thursday visit. However, children will spend spring break and a longer period during the summer with the noncustodial parent.
Does a father always have visitation rights?
The short answer is that a father does have visitation rights in Texas. However, mitigating circumstances — like family violence — can affect those rights.
Understanding visitation rights will help Texas fathers to ensure that they have adequate possession time with their children post-divorce.