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McKinney Visitation Lawyer Serving All of Texas
While parents in Texas now have a number of options when it comes to establishing parenting time after a divorce or separation, for many, a traditional custody-and-visitation schedule will still make the most sense. With this type of arrangement, one parent has primary custody (technically called “possessory conservatorship” in Texas), while the other has visitation rights, perhaps every other weekend.
If you are preparing to go through a divorce or separation in Texas, it will be important for you to understand how Texas’s conservatorship laws apply to your personal and family circumstances. Regardless of which parent will be seeking visitation, all decisions regarding custody and visitation will need to be made with these laws in mind.
5 Key Considerations Regarding Child Visitation in Texas
Here are five key considerations for parents who are seeking visitation (or whose spouse or partner is seeking visitation) during a divorce or separation:
1. Unmarried Fathers Must Prove Parentage in Order to Obtain Visitation Rights
Fathers of children who are born out of wedlock must prove parentage in order to obtain visitation rights in Texas. While Texas law presumes a husband to be the father of any child his wife bears during their marriage, this is not the case for unmarried dads. If you did not complete the necessary paperwork to prove parentage when your child was born, you will need to prove your biological relationship prior to seeking visitation.
2. Visitation is One Option, But Not the Only Option
From equal parenting (or “shared parenting”) to co-parenting, today there are many alternatives to traditional custody-and-visitation schedules. If you are going through a divorce or separation, it is important not to assume that you (or your child’s other parent) will be relegated to visitation.
3. All Custody and Visitation Arrangements Must Reflect the Child’s “Best Interests”
Regardless of your (and your spouse’s or partner’s) wishes, in Texas, all decisions regarding custody and visitation must reflect your child’s “best interests.” While your respective desires to raise and spend time with your child are relevant, this is ultimately just one of several factors that must be considered.
4. Visitation Scheduling is about More than Nights and Weekends
When developing a post-divorce or post-separation parenting plan, it is important to not solely focus on the normal weekly schedule. Typically, when parents develop a custody and visitation schedule, the parent who has visitation rights will have designated holidays and vacation time as well.
5. The Opportunities to Modify Visitation Post-Divorce or Post-Separation are Limited
Finally, when weighing your options, you need to be aware that your options for modifying your parenting plan after your divorce or separation will be limited. In order to request a modification, you must be able to prove that your desired modification is in your child’s best interests and results from a material change in circumstances.
Speak with a McKinney Child Visitation Lawyer in Confidence
For more information about Texas’s child custody and visitation (or “conservatorship”) laws, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. To speak with one of our McKinney child visitation lawyers in confidence, call 214-726-1450 or inquire online today.