denied visitation rights

Supervised Child Visitation for Texas Fathers

What is Supervised Visitation? Supervised visitation takes place between the non-custodial parent and her/his child (ren) in the presence of a third party or family agency who oversees the visit to monitor and ensure the child’s physical and emotional safety.  When supervision is ordered, possession and visitation are supervised by a neutral third party or family agency usually with the capacity to enforce effective measures that are normally ordered and enforced by the courts.

What is the purpose of Supervised Visitations? A supervised visit is for the benefit of the child to have safe contact with the non-custodial parent without having to participate in the parents’ mutual conflicts or other potentially dangerous circumstances.

The following is a potential list of acts and circumstances that usually occur before the custodial parent will request, and the court may order, supervised visitation between the child and the non-custodial parent:

  • Violence or physical endangerment – A noncustodial parent may be denied visitation rights if the parent has abused the child or threatened physical violence.

  • Emotional harm – Where sufficient proof is offered of potential emotional harm or where standard visitation has detrimentally affected a child’s emotional or physical welfare.

  • Child’s l wishes – A court may consider the child’s wishes as to visitation.  The weight given to a child’s preference is dependent on the child’s age, emotional stability, maturity and motives.

  • Abduction – There must be a showing that there is a strong imminent probability of abduction to limit visitation on this basis.

  • Substance abuse – A parent who abuses drugs or alcohol may be ordered to supervise visitation restrictions if the conduct endangers the child or if the parent uses abusive language and/or mistreats the child.

  • Mental illness –Mental incapacity may be a reason for supervised visitation only if it is determined by the court that there is a reasonable potential for harm to the child due to such mental illness.

  • Sexual behavior – Courts rarely deny visitation solely on the basis of a non-marital heterosexual or same-sex relationship.  Courts will, however, cancel overnight visitation by a child with a parent because of the parent’s cohabitation on a showing of an adverse and material negative impact on the child.

  • Incarceration – Visitations for the incarcerated may be suspended only on a showing that such visits are detrimental to the child.

What are the options for Supervised Visitations?

  1. Presence of a “neutral” third party: examples would be grandparent or other family member, friends of the family, close neighbors, and other child care providers.

  2. Presence of the custodial parent: This option is sometimes used when the child is very young. If this option is used the parents must work very hard to not engage in conflict affecting the child.

  3. Presence at a neutral location and monitored by professionals. These sites are staffed by professional and volunteers are trained for supervised visits. The expense these supervised visits can be very costly and may create a deterrent to access and possession by the non-custodial parent. Such agencies may also provide reports and recommendation to the court based on the success or failure of the supervised visits.  These recommendations assist the courts in making informed decisions regarding supervision and whether continued supervision is actually associated and necessary or in the best interest of the child(ren).

By Nacol Law Firm | Possession of Children
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Supervised Visitation in Texas – Part 1

Former spouses often use informal visitation arrangements as an opportunity to assault, harass, stalk, and emotional abuse their children and former partners.  In addition, some parents will use their children as a means to hurt the other parent by denying access to the child(ren) even though such access has been ordered by the court, i.e. failing to be at home during scheduled visitation periods, failing to bring the child(ren) to a scheduled location for the other parent to exercise their court ordered visitation, faking illness, etc.

Supervised visitation takes place between the non-custodial parent and his or her child(ren) in the presence of a third party who observes the visit to ensure the child’s physical and emotional safety.  Though sometimes reasonably and successfully ordered, visits voluntarily supervised by friends and family in their homes can be fraught with danger for the child and parent, as well as the monitor, especially in cases of domestic violence.  Family members may trust the parent whose visits are being supervised and therefore may not take proper or sufficient measures to assure the child(ren) are watched or monitored at all times during the visit. 

Consequently, when supervision is indicated, possession/visitation supervised by a neutral third party with the capacity to enforce effective safety measures is normally ordered and enforced by the courts.  The expenses of such supervision are often excessive and may in themselves create a detriment to possession by a parent.  Such agencies may also provide reports and recommendations to the court based on the success or failure of the supervised visits.  Such recommendations assist the courts in making informed decisions regarding supervision and whether continued supervision in the best interest of the child(ren).

If supervised visitation is requested, some type of compelling reason and evidence, based on the circumstances surrounding the child(ren) must normally be established.  Such evidence may include denial of access, drug addiction, mental or physical abuse, neglect, or severe mental illness of a parent.  The following is a potential list of acts and/or circumstances that may be considered contrary to a child’s best interest.

• Violence or physical endangerment – A noncustodial parent may be denied visitation rights if the parent has abused the child or threatened physical violence.
• Emotional harm – Where sufficient proof is offered of potential emotional harm or that standard visitation has detrimentally affected a child’s welfare, supervised visitation may be ordered.
• Child’s wishes – A court may consider the child’s wishes as to visitation.  The weight given to a child’s preference is dependent on the child’s age, emotional stability, maturity and motives.
• Abduction – There must be a showing that there is a strong imminent probability of abduction to limit visitation on this basis.
• Substance abuse – A parent who abuses drugs or alcohol may be ordered to supervised visitation restrictions if the conduct endangers the child or if the parent uses abusive language and/or mistreats the child.
• Mental illness –Mental incapacity may be a reason for supervised visitation only if it is determined by the court that there is a reasonable potential for harm to the child due to such mental illness.
• Sexual behavior – Courts rarely deny visitation solely on the basis of a non-marital heterosexual relationship.  Courts will, however, cancel overnight visitation by a child with a parent because of the parent’s cohabitation on a showing of an adverse and material negative impact on the child.
• Incarceration – Visitations due to incarceration may be suspended only on a showing that such visits are detrimental to the child.

To have more of your questions answered on supervised visitation in Texas, or for answers to any other Texas child custody concerns you may have, call  Dallas Divorce attorney Mark Nacol of the Nacol Law Firm P.C.

By Nacol Law Firm | Possession of Children
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Please contact father’s rights Dallas Attorney Mark Nacol, or father’s rights Dallas Attorney Julian Nacol with the Nacol Law Firm P.C., for legal insight to your rights as a father. Both attorney Mark Nacol, and attorney Julian Nacol , provide counsel in the area of family law including divorce, father’s rights, interstate jurisdiction, child support, child custody, visitation, paternity, parent alienation, modifications, property division, asset division and more. Attorney Mark A. Nacol is board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Our attorneys at The Nacol Law Firm P.C. serve clients throughout Texas, including Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Grayson, Kaufman, Rockwall and Tarrant counties and the communities of Addison, Allen, Arlington, Carrollton, Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Garland, Grapevine, Highland Park, McKinney, Mesquite, Plano, Prosper, Richardson, Rowlett and University Park, Murphy,Wylie, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Irving, along with surrounding DFW areas.

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