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When Child Visitation Is Limited or Denied in Texas

Determining an appropriate visitation schedule can be one of the more difficult challenges of divorce. It is generally recognized as important to allow children to spend time with both parents. But sometimes visitation can present a danger or concern about the well-being of the child.

In those situations, visitation can be limited, or in severe cases, outright denied.

Denying visitation to your ex-spouse should only be done in serious situations. Do not deny visitation in a fit of anger or for something like a common cold. But if your ex shows up at the door drunk or high on drugs, you need to protect your child from getting into a car with that parent. However, denying visitation to your child’s parent for any reason may result in contempt of court and jail time. It is best, if you earnestly believe your child is in danger, you must call the police to assess the situation. Refusing to allow your child’s parent to take your child when agreed upon you are technically in breach of a legal contract. Speak to a family law attorney about what you should do to protect your child.

Some of the reasons that a court can consider to limit visitation or file for a custody modification include:

  • Violence, neglect or physical abuse. Where a parent is shown to have abused a child or has threatened physical violence against a member of the family, visitation may be denied to the offending party.
  • Wishes of the child. Depending upon the age of the child, a court may consider the preference of a child with regard to visitation.
  • Emotional damage. If visits are too upsetting or result in emotional problems or aberrant behavior, a court may order that visitation be supervised or restricted.
  • Mental problems. When a parent is shown to have a mental illness that could harm a child, visitation may be restricted.
  • Alcohol or other substance abuse. Parents who abuse alcohol or use drugs may be denied visitation or have visitation restricted when their behavior is found to endanger or put a child in harm’s way.

If any of these situations apply, it is important to contact your Houston child visitation lawyer to legally formalize changes in the visitation agreement with your ex spouse.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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