When seeking a divorce, parents of children work with their attorneys and the court to determine a suitable custody agreement and the possession order is part of that.
Possession orders include child visitation agreements that allow each parent to spend time with their child according to the stipulations in the agreement that has been worked out with the help of each parent's legal representative.
Possession orders and visitation agreements may differ when a child is under the age of three and this is when standard possession orders apply.
If your child is two or under, work with your child visitation agreement lawyer to ensure proper execution of the possession order and visitation agreement so the needs of the child as well as both parents are appropriately considered.
Possession Orders and Child Visitation Agreements
A possession order is the terms that Texas family courts use for parenting time, specifying which parent of a child will have possession of the child at specific times if the parents have mutually approved the arrangement and signed a child visitation agreement.
The standard possession order in Texas allows parents to mutually agree upon their own schedule on where the child will live as well as when, where, and how long visits with the other parent will be in addition to other schedule-related agreements so long as both parents work together with their child’s well-being serving as their primary focus.
If the parents agree on possession and visitation, the court via each person's attorney gives the custodial parent the ability to make those decisions as long as the non-custodial parent is satisfied that he or she has appropriate visitation.
In standard situations, this usually includes Thursday nights during a school week, 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends every month, alternating holidays, and extended visits during the summer school vacation.
All stipulations are based on whether the non-custodial parent lives within or outside of 100 miles of the custodial parent.
If an agreement cannot be reached, a judge with the Family Court will review all aspects of that individual case and make a ruling that both parents must follow without exception.
Informal Possession Orders for Children Under Three
Lawyers do point out, however, that the standard possession order may not apply when the child is under the age of three, as children that young have very specific needs.
For this reason, what is called an informal possession order and visitation agreement are usually drawn up and tailored to represent the child’s best interest.
Generally based on the standard possession order, an informal order and agreement still allows parents to agree to their own visitation schedule for their younger child; however, the plan must also meet certain requirements as outlined by the family court.
If your child is under the age of three, it’s recommended that you and your spouse come up with your visitation agreement while working with legal services experienced in doing this and let them guide you in the points your agreement must consider.
The plan must include frequent yet short visits with the non-custodial parent that include multiple exchanges within the same week to ensure appropriate time with the non-custodial parent while also maintaining predictability and consistency for the child in his or her home environment.
The Needs of Younger Children
Children under the age of three have very specific needs in terms of consistency in their home lives as well as the need to become accustomed to and comfortable with non-custodial parents.
To negotiate a visitation agreement that you and your former spouse decide is sufficient, contact an experienced family law and child custody lawyer who can help you come up with a suitable plan.
Foreman Family Law
309 North Washington Avenue, Suite 12
Bryan TX 77803