Texas courts want both parents to have a fulfilling relationship with their children, whether married or divorced. But there are some times when protecting parental visitation rights can be difficult—like when allegations of emotional or physical abuse are present, when a parent struggles with mental health or substance use issues, or when there is a likelihood of child abduction by a parent.
In those cases, Texas courts may order something called “supervised visitation.” During supervised visitation, the parent is not allowed to be alone with the child. Instead of meeting alone at the parent’s home, for example, the parent and child may spend time together at another location where someone else is present. That person may be:
- A neutral third party, like a neighbor or relative
- The other parent
- A paid professional at an agency
How It Works: Supervised Possession Orders
If there are concerns about a child’s safety, a judge may issue a Supervised Possession Order. The Supervised Possession Order attaches to a divorce decree or child custody order and states that both parents must follow it.
Typically, it will list the names of both parents and say that restrictions or limitations on a specific parent’s custody are required to protect the best interests of the child. The order then lays out the terms of visitation, including where the visitation will take place.
Supervised Visitation Centers
Many co-parents choose to have supervised visitation take place at a supervised visitation center. In Tarrant County, there are many options to choose from. The Texas Attorney General keeps a directory of access and visitation locations to choose from, and we can make a recommendation for your family based on our experience, too.
Unfortunately, there is a cost associated with using a supervised visitation center. Usually, the parent requiring supervised visitation must pay the fee. Although the fee can be a deterrent for some families, most parents find they would do anything to protect their relationships with their children while keeping them safe and secure.
Talk With an Attorney About Supervised Visitation
The law on supervised visitation and child custody is very complicated. The best way to get answers about your situation is to talk with a lawyer. Start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 . Consultations with our attorneys are confidential. We can answer your questions and take action to protect your children and your relationship with them.