Now is the time to review your 2021 Holiday Visitation Schedule with your children.
Here is a reminder of the current Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Possession Order for the 2021 Holidays.
Texas 2021 Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Thanksgiving:
The possessory conservator or non-primary 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; The Holiday schedule will always override the Thursday or Weekend schedules.
Texas Family Law Code’s Standard Visitation Guidelines for Christmas Break:
The possessory conservator or non-primary 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.
The possessory conservator or non-primary conservator shall have possession of the child in even-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 odd-numbered years; The Holiday schedule will always override the Thursday or Weekend schedules.
The Holiday Season should be a happy family time. Many times, emotional issues from the result of the break-up affects a family which causes the joy of the season to be overshadowed by unhappiness and despair! Children need to have structure in their Holiday Visitation Schedule to ensure that they will be able to see both parents and share the joy of the season with their entire family. The children are often the ones who suffer when the Holiday Visitation arrangement goes awry.
Unfortunately, many parents may wait too long to confirm visitation plans for this upcoming holiday season with the current Covid19 Virus Pandemic issues. If you cannot reach an agreement regarding visitation or believe you may be deprived of holiday visitation by the other parent, now is the time to contact an attorney. Time is short and Courts are already starting to overload with future visitation problems for the 2021 Holiday Season.
The best gift a child can experience for the Holiday Season is an early proactive arrangement of all holiday plans between both parents. Everyone needs to know dates and times for visitation with both Mom and Dad. This Holiday Season vow to keep your child out of the middle of any family conflict and start to develop new holiday traditions with your child and family. Many parents have new relationships/marriages and other children in the family group. The new holiday traditions should include everyone and be a bonding experience for years to come.
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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?
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.
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.
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).