On the concern that a Texas mother or father who does not live with the child’s other parent might have is with whom the other parent will allow the child to associate. Hopefully, both parents will work hard to put the child’s welfare first and, thus, not allow the child to hang around friends and relatives who might be a bad influence or even outright harm the child.
However, many child custody disputes which wind up in the court in and around Houston are on account of the fact that one parent is letting the child hang around other third parties during visitation but the other parent, the one who has primary child custody, objects to those people.
Generally speaking, the custodial parent cannot dictate who the noncustodial parent associates within his or her personal time. Moreover, in general, a Texas court is not going to keep a noncustodial parent from bringing his or her friend, significant other, or relatives around a child, even if the custodial parent has strong and well-founded objections to the person in question.
There are some exceptions to this general rule, however. For instance, if a custodial parent can produce evidence that the person in question could actually hurt the child, then he or she may succeed in getting a court order that requires the parent with visitation to keep the objectionable person away. An example of this sort of exception would be cases of people who have known drug problems or who have a substantiated record of sexual abuse or child abuse.
When a thing that is clear, however, is that a custodial parent cannot simply take the matter into his or her own hands and not allow visitation simply because he or she objects to the other parent’s relatives or acquaintances. The best course of action if there is any question about whom the child will be around during visitation is to try to bring the matter before the correct family law court, ideally with the assistance of an experienced Texas family law attorney.