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Supervised visitation in Texas: Keeping your children safe

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Child Custody

As you likely know, divorce a complex and emotionally charged situation. For some parents, an additional worry about their children’s safety during visits with their other parent adds more stress and anxiety to already stressful circumstances.

While Texas courts prioritize maintaining a connection between children and both parents, they also generally understand that safety comes first. In cases where there are legitimate concerns about a child’s well-being, courts may order supervised visitation to better ensure physical and emotional safety during visits.

When is supervised visitation potentially necessary?

Every family dynamic is unique, but some situations raise red flags and ultimately inspire a need for supervised visits. The following are common reasons a Texas court might order supervision:

  • Threats of kidnapping
  • History of violence towards the child or custodial parent
  • Severe mental illness in the non-custodial parent
  • Past or present emotional abuse of the child
  • Chronic substance abuse by the non-custodial parent
  • Prior neglect of the child’s basic needs
  • A dangerous family environment for the child

Supervised visitation can also occur in less common situations. For instance, if a previously absent parent wants to rekindle a relationship with their child, initial visits might require supervision.

Who supervises the visits?

You can request a trusted family member or friend to oversee visits. Alternatively, agencies offer professional supervision services for a fee. Trained professionals provide a neutral environment and work to ensure children’s safety during visits.

Taking action for your child’s safety

Ideally, your children face no immediate threat when their other parent is around. However, if you have valid concerns, do not hesitate to seek help. Consulting with a legal representative can help you understand supervised visitation and help you to petition the court for this protection, if necessary.