Options for Parenting Time/Visitation

A standard possession order may not be in the best interest of your child if the other parent has acted violently in the past. Texas law says that a court must consider past instances of family violence or sexual abuse in determining whether to deny, restrict, or limit parenting time with a child.

Denied, Limited or Restricted Parenting Time/Possession/Visitation: if the threat of violence to your children is too great to permit visitation with the other parent, you can ask the judge to deny, limit or restrict visitation. You will need to provide evidence that domestic violence or abuse has occurred during the two years before your case started. The Texas Family Code, Section 153.004, requires the court to consider such evidence in the appointment of conservators and in making decisions regarding custody, access and visitation. A judge is more likely to grant supervised visitation than no visitation at all unless you can show that your situation is extreme. Be prepared to bring proof that supports your request. Even if you plan to ask for no visitation, prepare a backup plan for supervised visitation that includes a list of possible supervisors. Think about which days of the week and times that visitation will work best for your child. Think about two or three possible locations for the exchange. If you do not feel safe or comfortable with the other parent coming to your house, suggest that the exchange take place at a safe, public place.

Supervised Visitation: allows the other parent to visit with his or her children, but requires that all visits be supervised by another adult. The adult can be a friend or family member, or supervision can be provided by a professional agency that provides the service for a fee. Call your local domestic violence shelter or other advocacy group to find out about the services in your area. You can also find a listing of supervised visitation options online [these centers often charge for their services]: