Our Family Law Lawyers Fight for Your Visitation Rights in Kyle, Austin, Georgetown, San Marcos, Buda, Lakeway & All of Central Texas.
A key part of any divorce agreement is the right to visitation by the non-custodial parent. Merritt Law is well versed in the law governing visitation rights in Kyle, Austin, Georgetown, Buda, Lakeway and other communities surrounding Austin, Texas. While one parent will typically have primary custody of a child following divorce, there are laws in Texas that determine visitation by the non-custodial parent and where the primary residence is designated.
Standard Visitation Order
Visitation is also referred to as ‘possession’ in Texas, and the default in Texas is what is called the “standard possession order.” To deviate from this standard possession schedule, a party must show why it would be in the best interest of the children to follow a different schedule. It is usually best for parents to work out an agreement based on their own lives and the needs of the children. However, in the event that is not possible then a court can determine the schedule that would apply in your case.
The standard possession schedule is divided into regular, holiday and summer visitation periods designed to create time for the children to spend with both parents. The standard order is as specific as possible so that there is no misunderstanding between the parents and that no clarification will be required later by the court.
The presumption is that this standard possession schedule begins at the age of three. Prior to that age, there is no set schedule, but there are specific things that a court is required to look at to determine a schedule. We can discuss this further if your child falls in this age category.
It is also important to understand that different Judges have different approaches to visitation issues. This is why it is important to discuss your case with a lawyer who regularly appears before these Judges and can give you advice as to how these cases are handled. Here at Merritt Law we appear in Travis County, Williamson County, Hays County, Bastrop County, Caldwell County and other Central Texas Counties and are familiar with judges in all of those counties.
In most cases, the parent who determines the primary domicile of the child will get to do so with some limitations on that choice. This limitation, also known as a “geographical restriction”, is a restriction by area where the child must live. A residency restriction can be defined broadly, such as the state of Texas, or narrowly, such as a specific school district or even specific address. The test used will be what is in the best interests of the child. In any case, the restriction will by necessity limit the movement of the custodial parent who cannot change residence to prevent or limit access to the child by the non-custodial parent.
In the same way, if a non-custodial parent moves outside the geographical restriction area, then the restriction is often lifted. This means that this area is important to both parents and needs to large enough to allow different housing options, while also small enough to allow easy contact and exchanges of your child. Sometimes visitation schedules and geographical restrictions need to be modified, and in that case it is wise to involve a family law attorney who can advise you and help present the petition to the court. If this is your intention you will have to show a reason for the modification and the court will always default to the interests of the child.
How Can We Help?
Merritt Law can be your advisor and advocate in structuring a visitation schedule that suits your child as well as you and the other parents alike. We can also represent you in any needed modification of existing orders. These arrangements are important to your and your child’s daily lifeand should be given the attention that they deserve. Please contact us to schedule your initial consultation to discuss your visitation rights in Kyle, Texas.