If you are a non-custodial father, Texas law provides you with certain rights regarding visitation. These rights are part of the Standard Possession Order, which covers typical child custody situations. However, the specifics of your visitation schedule are contingent upon the distance you live from your child’s primary place of residence.
A distance of 100 miles marks where visitation conditions change. If you live within 100 miles of your child, you are entitled to visitation at the following times:
- Every Thursday evening.
- The first, third and fifth (if applicable) weekend of each month.
- Thirty days throughout the summer vacation.
- Holidays on alternating years. For example, if your child spends Christmas with the other parent this year, he or she will spend it with you next year.
If you live more than 100 miles away from your child, you will have no Thursday visitation, but you will have 12 more days during the summer vacation. The holiday schedule remains the same. But perhaps most significantly, the weekend schedule could be reduced down to one weekend a month.
It is important to remember that when the judge makes decisions regarding custody and visitation, he or she does so with the child’s best interests in mind. This means that the Standard Possession Order could be modified depending on the circumstances. In other words, you may receive less visitation at first, with the possibility of an increase as time goes on.
To ensure that you get the fairest visitation rights possible, you may want to enlist the services of an experienced Texas family law attorney. The attorney can work on your behalf to show the court that the terms you desire are in the best interests of the child.