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Things to know about supervised visitation

Perhaps you can recall a few incidents where you and your spouse got into some pretty volatile arguments. Maybe you had the best of intentions to simply talk through some problems the two of you were having at the time, and then things unexpectedly escalated into full-blown screaming matches. Doors slammed, you both said unkind words, and you wound up leaving the house and going for a long drive on a Texas highway to try to cool down and to avoid further altercation.  

You certainly wouldn't be the first married person to live through such events. However, if your spouse is using those bad memories against you now that you've decided to divorce, that may be a big problem. If your spouse has made false allegations of abuse against you so the court will order supervised visitation with your children, you have every right to take steps to protect your good name and seek a fair and agreeable parenting arrangement in your divorce.  

Types of situations that often lead to supervised visitation 

While there are indeed certain circumstances that may prompt the court to order a third party's presence at all times when you visit your children, it won't do so without good reason. Accusing someone of domestic violence is a serious matter, and such charges must be proved before the court will take away a parent's right to spend time alone with his or her children. The following list includes situations that often lead to supervised visitation: 

  • Drug or alcohol abuse may be the underlying cause for a supervised visitation order. The court will not make a decision on mere accusation, however. If necessary, it will order an investigation to determine whether such allegations have merit.
  • Any type of physical or emotional abuse is a reason to order supervised visitation. You can take immediate steps to protect your rights if someone has falsely accused you of this.
  • Evidence of past inappropriate sexual activity toward children places a parent at risk for a supervised visitation order.
  • If you are incarcerated for any reason, that in itself is grounds for supervised visitation.
  • If the court believes you may place your children in a dangerous environment or expose them to someone who is a detriment to their well-being, a supervised visitation order may be part of your divorce decree.

It's understandable that you'd feel frustrated, even angry if you think your spouse is trying to deceive the court so it will restrict your post-divorce visits with your kids. Not only is making false allegations as an act of revenge mean-spirited, but it can also mean that your accuser is in contempt of court.  

If you know where to seek support, you may be able to resolve such problems before they get out of hand. Texas law also allows you to appeal a custody or visitation ruling. 

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