While Texas establishes a Standard Possession Order (SPO) for courts to begin with when deciding what type of custody and visitation rights to award each parent, courts are not required to stick with that order in every situation. In fact, numerous scenarios may prompt a court to expand upon, modify, or completely ignore the SPO, provided that doing so would serve the best interests of the child.

This can make determining visitation rights in The Colony a complicated proposition, especially if a child’s parents do not agree on the best visitation schedule for their child would be. Fortunately, there is help available from a knowledgeable visitation attorney with years of experience working with people like you to get favorable results.

Defining a Child’s Best Interests

All decisions the court makes regarding child support and custody revolve primarily—and often exclusively—around the best interests standard. In a nutshell, the court will always try to impose whatever order is best for the child rather than what is best for either of their parents. Although, both parents can still make evidence-based arguments before the court to encourage a decision that favors both the child’s interests and their own.

State Supreme Court precedent established in Holley v. Adams in 1976 holds that the following factors—as well as any others the court deems relevant—may be considered when determining a particular child’s best interests:

  • The child’s current and expected future physical and emotional needs
  • The abilities of each parent to effectively parent their child
  • Whether either parent would pose any physical or emotional danger to their child currently or in the future
  • What plans each parent has to ensure their child has the care and support they need
  • How stable each parent’s home is, as well as what supportive programs they have access to
  • Any previous actions by either parent which might suggest an improper parent-child relationship, as well as any explanations or excuses made for those actions

A practiced attorney could go into further detail during a private consultation about how these and other factors may impact determinations of visitation rights in The Colony.

Deviating from the Standard Possession Order

Courts in The Colony make a rebuttable presumption when determining visitation rights that the Standard Possession Order outlined under Texas Family Code § 153.312 will best serve the interests of the child in question. However, courts can and will deviate from this SPO if they find or a parent presents them with clear and convincing evidence that doing so would serve the child’s interests.

For example, if a non-custodial parent has a history of family violence or substance abuse problems, the court may require supervised visitation. On the flip side, non-custodial parents who have good relationships with their kids may be awarded additional visitation rights through an Expanded SPO or a modified one that allows for a different custody arrangement altogether.

An Attorney Could Help with Determining Visitation Rights in The Colony

Establishing visitation rights is always a legally complicated process and often an emotionally challenging one as well. When working through situations like this, representation from skilled legal counsel can be key to getting an optimal result in court and managing your own stress and personal best interests along the way.

When you need help determining visitation rights in The Colony or pursuing your preferred custody arrangement, a dedicated lawyer is ready to assist. Call today to learn more.

Meet Matt Towson

Our Law Firm’s approach to your case is based on individual circumstances. Whether it is a simple negotiated settlement, or it requires an aggressive approach, we will protect and defend your best interests.

Meet Matt Towson
Meet Matt Towson
Meet Matt Towson