It’s difficult when a marriage ends. Most of us go into marriage thinking it will last forever. Once we become parents, we have images of living happily ever after with our spouse and kids.

Many of us would like to grow old with the person we picked as our partner.

Unfortunately, it may not work out the way we would have wished. Divorce is challenging as it is. It can be even more challenging when you have children and your former spouse is not the best parent.

A parent’s greatest desire in a divorce is for the children to remain unharmed. Later on, most parents wish that their children could find healing after the pain of a divorce. A former spouse acting unsafe or abusive towards the children can do emotional harm and make things a nightmare.

If you have concerns about your children’s safety with visiting parent or a former partner, it may be necessary to request supervised visitation. Here, we’ll discuss how to get supervised visitation in Texas.

How Does Supervised Visitation in Texas Work?

Supervised visitation in Texas is when the court does not allow your former spouse to spend time alone with your children. In this case, you would have custody of your children, and the court would award your former spouse supervised visitation schedule and visits. The court would require a third party, a “monitor,” to be with your former spouse during those visits.

The court will order supervised visitation in Texas when your former spouse’s behavior is erratic or dangerous. The top priority will be the safety and security of your children. 

When Might a Court Order Supervised Visitation in Texas?

The court might order supervised visitation in a few different circumstances, such as:

  • Your former spouse (the non-custodial parent) has been violent towards or threatened violence toward the children;
  • The non-custodial parent emotionally abuses the children;
  • The non-custodial parent is battling an addiction to drugs;
  • Your former spouse is living with a romantic partner that would have a negative impact on your children;
  • Your former spouse is in prison, and the court believes this would be detrimental to your children; 
  • The non-custodial parent has a severe mental illness and might harm the children; or
  • If an older, mature child has a specific request regarding supervised visitation. 

Why You Shouldn’t Allow a Friend or Family Member to Supervise

If you were in a relationship with an abusive or manipulative partner, you might think it’s enough for a friend or family member to be there for the visits. This is never a good idea, as abusive or manipulative people are often this way to more than just their spouse.

Your friend or family member may be putting themselves in a difficult and dangerous situation, and your children may not be fully protected.

The court-ordered monitor will often be a psychiatrist or psychologist with the training to spot any signs of physical or emotional abuse. Usually, at first, your former spouse will have to go to a specific location, such as the professional’s office, to visit with the children.

Over time, the visits may shift to a different location as the monitor determines your children are safe.

How to Get Supervised Visitation in Texas 

If you know you would prefer it, your next question may be about how to get supervised visitation in Texas. You may request supervised visitation in Texas during your divorce.

If you are not currently going through a divorce but are in the middle of a paternity case or a case for a protective order because of family or domestic violence, you can also request supervised visitation in Texas.

If none of the above are applicable, you should contact an experienced family law attorney, like the Law Office of Ben Carrasco, to help you request a supervised visitation order.

Although the court ultimately decides, the Law Office of Ben Carrasco has years of experience handling matters like this in the state of Texas. Give us a call at 512-489-9820 as soon as you can.

FAQs: Requesting Supervised Visitation in Texas

WHAT IS SUPERVISED VISITATION IN TEXAS?

Supervised visitation is a court order in child custody cases that allows a noncustodial parent to visit their child only in the presence of a third party. This arrangement is put in place to ensure the child’s safety and well-being during visits.

WHY WOULD I NEED TO ASK FOR SUPERVISED VISITATION IN TEXAS?

There are several reasons why a custodial parent might ask for supervised visitation. This includes concerns about the child’s safety and past instances of family violence, substance abuse, or neglect by the noncustodial parent.

HOW CAN I ASK FOR SUPERVISED VISITATION IN TEXAS?

To ask for supervised visitation in Texas, you’ll need to file a request with the court. This usually involves showing evidence of why supervised visitation is in the child’s best interest. Consulting with a Texas child support attorney like Ben Carrasco can help you navigate this process effectively.

WHAT FACTORS DOES THE COURT CONSIDER WHEN DECIDING ON SUPERVISED VISITATION?

The court’s primary concern is always the child’s well-being. This includes factors such as the child’s physical and emotional well-being, the noncustodial parent’s relationship with the child, past instances of violence or neglect, and the noncustodial parent’s mental and physical health.

IS SUPERVISED VISITATION PERMANENT?

Not necessarily. Supervised visitation is often temporary and can change if the noncustodial parent can demonstrate a significant improvement in their circumstances or if the court determines that regular, unsupervised visitation would not pose a risk to the child.

CAN A CHILD REFUSE SUPERVISED VISITATION IN TEXAS?

In Texas, the court generally respects a child’s wishes if they are 12 years or older. However, the court orders and ultimate decision is based on the child’s best interest.

CAN I DENY VISITATION IF MY EX DOESN’T PAY CHILD SUPPORT IN TEXAS?

In Texas, child support and visitation rights are separate issues. Non-payment of child support does not justify the denial of visitation rights. If you’re facing child support issues, it’s best to consult with a Texas child support attorney.

CAN I REQUEST SUPERVISED VISITATION IF MY EX HAS A MENTAL ILLNESS?

Yes, if you believe that your ex-spouse’s mental illness could pose a threat to the child’s safety or well-being, you can request supervised visitation in Texas. The court will carefully evaluate the situation, considering the nature of the mental illness, its severity, and its impact on the noncustodial parent’s ability to care for the child. It is vital to have evidence demonstrating that the mental illness could potentially harm the child, as courts aim to make decisions in the child’s best interest.

CAN SUPERVISED VISITATION BE REQUESTED FOR OTHER REASONS?

Yes, supervised visitation can also be ordered if the noncustodial parent has been absent from the child’s life for a long time, if there is convincing evidence there’s a risk of abduction, or if there are other significant reasons unsupervised visitation could harm the child.

CAN SUPERVISED VISITATION BE REQUESTED WITHOUT A LAWYER?

While it’s possible to request supervised visitation without legal representation, it’s generally recommended to seek the advice of a Texas child support attorney like Ben Carrasco. An experienced child custody attorney can guide you through the legal process, helping you present your case effectively.

WHAT CAN I DO IF SUPERVISED VISITATION IS NOT BEING RESPECTED?

If the noncustodial parent violates the terms of supervised visitation, document the incidents and contact your attorney or the court. In severe cases, this could lead to changes in the visitation order or even legal consequences for the noncustodial parent.

HOW IS THE SUPERVISOR FOR VISITATION CHOSEN?

Depending on the court’s decision, the supervisor could be a professional, a neutral third party, or a family member. The main requirement is that the supervisor must be capable of ensuring the child’s safety during visits with the supervised parent.

About the Author
Ben Carrasco is a highly skilled family law attorney based in Austin, Texas, known for his extensive expertise in family law and business litigation. While his primary focus is family law, Ben brings a wealth of experience in litigating diverse business disputes, ranging from breach of contract and collections to business torts, fraud, and real estate matters. In his family law practice, Ben navigates all aspects of the field, including divorce, child custody, support, property division, and more, offering clients expert guidance throughout the litigation process. His legal journey began in complex commercial litigation, initially with a global law firm and later with a prominent Austin-based firm. However, driven by a desire to make a direct impact on people's lives and embrace the human element of the law, Ben transitioned to family law, a decision that has proven to be deeply rewarding. A proud Austin native with roots in California, Ben completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, before earning his law degree at Stanford Law School, where he excelled in legal writing and served as an associate editor of the Stanford Law and Policy Review.