When a couple with minor children separates or gets divorced, they will need to consider several custodial arrangements. In cases where one parent will be the primary caretaker, a visitation order can allow the other parent to maintain a relationship with their children. A planned and agreed-upon schedule is often crucial to ensure that both parents can spend time with the kids.

However, it can be difficult to establish an effective visitation order without help from a skilled family law attorney. A visitation lawyer at our firm could help families navigate the legal processes, create a schedule that works for all parties, and uphold the best interests of the children.

What is a Visitation Order?

A “visitation order,” also referred to as a “possession order” in Texas, is a court-ordered schedule for when a noncustodial parent or a nonparent may spend time with a child. There are several different types of possession orders that a parent could obtain in Texas, depending on the circumstances of the case. A knowledgeable visitation attorney could help parents determine which kind of order is right for their situation.

Types of Possession Orders

In Texas, there are four different types of possession orders. Which kind of possession order a party should get will vary depending on several factors, such as the child’s age. The types of possession orders include the following:

  • Standard
  • Modified
  • Supervised
  • Possession order for a child under three years old

Standard Possession Orders

Under §§ 153.3101- 153.317 of the Texas Family Code, standard possession orders allow each parent to spend time with their children at mutually agreed-upon times. However, if the parents cannot agree, the noncustodial parent has a right to see their child at the times specified under Tex. Fam. Code §§ 153.312-313.

There are specific nuances for standard possession orders in cases where a child is under three years old. Parents of young children who cannot agree on a visitation schedule may need to have one tailored for them by the court, under Tex. Fam. Code § 153.254. Parents in this position should discuss their case with a skilled visitation attorney who could explain the relevant laws.

Modified Possession Order

When a standard possession order is not viable, parents may seek a modified possession order. Essentially, a modified order is a visitation order that deviates from standard possession.


If there is a concern for the safety of the child in question, the custodial parent may request to obtain a supervised possession order. This means that the noncustodial or nonparent may not visit with the child unless a family member, neutral third party, or agency is present during the visitation.

VIDEO: Child Custody & Visitation Lawyer Explains Visitation Schedules

Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Visitation Lawyer

There are several reasons why a custodial parent may seek to obtain a visitation order. These documents govern when and where their child may meet with a noncustodial parent or nonparent. However, not all possession orders are the same. A knowledgeable attorney could help parents understand standard possession orders and determine whether their situation may call for alterations.

If you were recently divorced or separated from a spouse and would like to get a possession order, work with a seasoned visitation lawyer. These legal processes can be confusing and stressful to undertake on your own. Our legal team is ready to speak with you during a risk-free consultation and help determine an effective strategy for your situation. Call us today to get started.