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The Time You Spend With Your Children After A Divorce Is Important

The most important thing parents worry about when getting divorced is the effect the split will have on their children. We know that the overwhelming majority of children do better when both parents continue to play a role in their lives.

At Fayez Law Group, PLLC, attorney Fayez Hatamleh can assist you to ensure that your rights as a parent are recognized and protected. He will explain what Texas law says about custody and work with you to create a custody plan that fits the needs of your children, as well as your life. Call 713-714-0029 to arrange a meeting to begin the process.

What Texas Law Says About Visitation

An interesting fact is that Texas law does not use the term “visitation” at all. Instead, Texas law refers to possession and access. These sections of the law describe arrangements for physical custody (possession) and visitation (access). Here are some terms that can be helpful:

  • What is child conservatorship? This is a term used by Texas courts. It is similar to custody. Both parents can be conservators, or one parent can be. Typically, the court will divide parental rights and responsibilities between joint conservators.
  • What is a possessory conservatorship? This means visitation. If a parent does not live with the child but has the child one weekend a month, then that parent has possessory conservatorship. This is also called access or possession.
  • Who is the primary conservator? This is the parent with whom the child lives.
  • Who is the nonprimary parent? The parent whom the child does not live with, but has visitation, is the nonprimary parent.
  • What is possession? Possession refers to the right a parent has to “possess” or have the child or children for a limited amount of time. So, when a parent takes the child overnight or for the weekend, that parent has possession.
  • What is access? Access is more limited than possession. Access allows a parent to see their child or children for a small period of time or possibly access them through telephone/electronic communication.

Texas law is based on the belief that a “standard possession order” is in the best interest of the children; unless a party provides evidence to prove otherwise (i.e., abuse or endangerment to the child). Texas laws concerning child custody are not always straightforward and use a lot of legal terms. Working with an attorney after a divorce or breakup can help to ensure you understand both your rights and your responsibilities as a parent.

What A Standard Possession Order Does

A standard possession order grants one parent (the parent who does not live with the child or children) time with the children every Thursday evening during the normal school term from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and every first, third and fifth weekend of each month (weekends of the month are determined by the Fridays of each month) beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday and ending at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday. In addition to these times, the possessory conservator is awarded 30 days in the summer, usually taken in the month of July, [approximately] a week during Christmas break, and alternating spring break and Thanksgiving holidays.

When To Seek An Expanded Possession Order

If a parent wishes to receive more time with the child, he/she may request an expanded possession order. An expanded possession order allows for a possessory conservator to extend the duration of the standard possession order. Specifically, on Thursdays, the nonprimary parent can pick up the children when school is dismissed on Thursday and/or return the children when the children’s school resumes the following Friday. On weekends, the nonprimary parent can choose to pick up the children when school is dismissed on Friday and/or return the children when the children’s school resumes the following Monday.

When To Seek A Different Visitation Arrangement

Parents who desire a possession schedule that deviates from the standard possession or expanded possession order certainly have the flexibility to be as creative as they want or need to be when shaping a possession schedule that best benefits their family’s needs. The court will review the evidence, and if it shows that another arrangement would be in the children’s best interest, that the standard possession order is just unworkable (i.e. due to the parties’ work schedules, that the child is less than three years old or that there is a recent history of family violence), the court may differ from a standard possession order.

Get Personal Service To Create The Plan That Works

Not every parent works a 9-to-5 job Monday through Friday. This means that standard plans may not always be in the best interest of the child or be feasible for the parent. Attorney Fayez Hatamleh will work with you to create a parenting plan that works. Call 713-714-0029 or connect with Fayez via website email. In Friendswood, the firm serves clients throughout the Southern Houston metro area.