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An Overview of Supervised Visitation in Texas


For a number of different reasons, a Texas court may determine that a parent, at least at the current time, should not have unfettered access to their child. However, it may still be best for that child and that parent to spend time together and to build a relationship. This is where supervised visitation can play a role. Here, our Houston child custody attorney provides a detailed overview of supervised visitation in Texas.

Supervised Visitation: Defined 

Broadly explained, supervised visitation is a type of parental access whereby face-to-face contact between a parent and a child will only occur in the presence of a trusted third party who has been approved by a Texas court.

 Note: Texas has shifted away from using the terms “custody” and “visitation” in favor of more neutral terminology. The state uses the terms “conservatorship” and “possession and access.” The concept of visitation—including supervised visitation—falls under possession and access.

 A Texas Court May Order Supervised Visitation When Deemed to Be in Child’s Best Interests

Under Texas law (Tex. Fam. Code § 153.002), the best interests of the child always take priority. A court can order supervised visitation if such an arrangement is determined to be the best option to protect the child’s health, safety, and overall emotional well-being.

Most Common Reasons for Supervised Visitation in Texas 

There are several different reasons why supervised access may be required for a parent in Texas. Here is an overview of some of the most common reasons for supervised visitation in Houston:

  • Domestic Violence: A parent with a history of domestic violence—including spousal abuse or child abuse—may be restricted to supervised visitation.
  • Parental Neglect: Neglect of a child by a parent is a serious matter and it may be good cause for supervised visitation
  • Substance Abuse: If a parent has a recent history of substance abuse—whether of drugs or alcohol—supervised visitation may be required.
  • Mental Health Issues: A parent with significant mental health issues may need to be supervised to ensure that the child receives proper care.

Understanding the Mechanics of Supervised Visitation 

How exactly supervised visitation works in practice always depends on the specific circumstances of the case. The supervisor can be a family member, close friend, a professional, or even the co-parent. In some cases, the parties are able to agree on who should serve as the supervisor. In other cases, a Texas court may appoint a neutral supervisor. Supervised visitation may be temporary—meaning restrictions could eventually be lifted with good parental conduct—or it may be permanent given the potential risks posed to a child.

 Contact Our Houston, TX Child Custody Lawyer Today

At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C., our Houston family law attorneys have the professional experience to take on all types of supervised visitation cases. Have questions about your rights? We can help. Contact us today to arrange your confidential, no obligation consultation. With an office in Houston, we provide solutions-focused legal advocacy in the full range of custody and visitation matters.

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