Visitation with your children for the 2014 Holidays – Texas Standard Visitation Guidelines

Now is the time to start working on your Holiday 2014 Schedule for visitation with your children during this wonderful time of year! We would suggest that you review your individual order to see if you have specific provisions concerning visitation.  Because many families have specific situations that occur during this special time, this visitation time is the most modified area in the Standard Possession Order. The Holiday schedule will always override the Thursday or Weekend schedules.

Here is a reminder of the current Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Possession Order for the Holidays.

  • 153.314. Holiday Possession Unaffected by Distance Parents Reside Apart.
    The following provisions govern possession of the child for certain specific holidays and supersede conflicting weekend or Thursday periods of possession without regard to the distance the parents reside apart. The possessory conservator and the managing conservator shall have rights of possession of the child as follows:

Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Christmas Break:
(1) the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in even-numbered years beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in odd-numbered years;
(2) the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in odd-numbered years beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that vacation, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in even-numbered years;

Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Thanksgiving:
(3) the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in odd-numbered years, beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school before Thanksgiving and ending at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in even-numbered years;

Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Child’s Birthday:
(4) the parent not otherwise entitled under this standard order to present possession of a child on the child’s birthday shall have possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. on that day, provided that the parent picks up the child from the residence of the conservator entitled to possession and returns the child to that same place;

Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Father’s Day:
(5) if a conservator, the father shall have possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding Father’s Day and ending on Father’s Day at 6 p.m., provided that, if he is not otherwise entitled under this standard order to present possession of the child, he picks up the child from the residence of the conservator entitled to possession and returns the child to that same place;

Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Mother’s Day:
(6) if a conservator, the mother shall have possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding Mother’s Day and ending on Mother’s Day at 6 p.m., provided that, if she is not otherwise entitled under this standard order to present possession of the child, she picks up the child from the residence of the conservator entitled to possession and returns the child to that same place.

Texas child visitation orders may differ from the norm to accommodate family situations so you should always check your decree first! If in doubt about your holiday visitation time, contact a family law attorney who can help you to make sure nothing happens to affect this special season with your children. ‘Tis the Season To Be Jolly’!

Emotional Abuse in a Marriage

Many headlines are common as to in what ways Domestic Physical Violence and Physical Abuse affects families and individuals. Consider however the silent spoiler of marriage: Emotional Abuse!

Most domestic abuse and violence commences with deliberate on-going negative behavior by one partner/parent against another family member as the abuser demeans and dismantles the victim’s feelings of self-worth and independence.

Just because a person does not end up in the hospital as a victim of physical abuse, emotional scars and a resulting negative self-image may adversely impact the individual for their entire life.

Emotional abuse often includes verbal abuse, controlling behavior, intimidation and isolation. Most emotional abusers will also make multiple violence threats and orchestrate other non-physical types of punishments if their victims refuse to blindly obey.

Since “the Abuser’s Goal is Always Control”, economic/ financial control is one of the most common forms of emotional abuse. Victims have feelings of “no way out” from abusive relationships and strict financial control imposed by the abuser results in spiraling hopelessness.

What are some serious financial control issues to look out for? Do you have a problem?

  • Total controlling of all family expenses.

  • Withholding money and credit cards and strict, unrealistic allowance restrictions.

  • Withholding basic necessities (food, clothing, shelter, medical needs).

  • Controlling your choice of career and prevention or obstruction from gainful employment.

  • Sabotaging your job by constantly calling you, causing problems with your boss or associates, and causing you to miss work.

  • Stealing money from you.

All types of abuse are sick, but emotional abuse the silent spoiler of lives is often overlooked until it is too late.  Every family member in these cases may be effected and scared for years.  Many children who are tainted by abuse never completely know a normal loving relationship with a partner, spouse, or child since their low self-esteem prevents normal intimacy with others.

Domestic Violence / Intimate Partner Violence : Identify the Problem and Make it Stop!

Every day in the news on the internet, TV, and newspapers, we read how Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence affects women, men and children lives in very tragic ways.  Many professional athletes have been exposed and many celebrities have professed their life changing experiences.

What is Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence ( IPV ) ?  It is the willful intimidation, physical and sexual assault & battery or serious mental and verbal abuse perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.

The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically and may include physical or sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The violence is often accompanied by irrational and controlling behavior and is intended to result in total dominance and control over the other intimate partner or the other family members.

Current Domestic/ Intimate Partner Violence Statistics:

  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. Everyday more than 3 women are murdered by their intimate partners.

  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic/intimate partner violence in her lifetime. Women ages 18 to 24 are the greatest risk of being victims of domestic/intimate partner violence.

  • Every year, over 3 million children witness domestic violence in the home.

  • Children who live in domestic violence homes suffer high rates of abuse and neglect (30-60%)

  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.

The Worse Fact: Most of all Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence Incidents Are Never Reported! These Abusers are getting away with this abuse and can murder their loved ones at any time!

Legally, the abuser may be deterred from continuing this degrading, hurting behavior against his intimate partner and other family members. But these victims need help. Many times, the domestic violence victims are so weak and beaten down mentally and physically that they cannot help themselves.

Look for warning signs of abuse in relatives, friends and neighbors. Remember: if you are a friend, be their friend. Do something to disclose the abuse and danger in their lives!  You may save a life!