The presumption is that parties will be appointed joint managing conservators with one party having primary possession (the child lives with them) and the other party having a standard possession schedule. If good cause is shown, the court can order a possession schedule that varies from a standard possession schedule. Additionally, the possession schedule can be written to address individual preferences, as needed.
The possession schedule is not intended to be set in stone, but rather, to insure that the noncustodial parent is insured minimum contact with their child. Thus, the first paragraph of a possession schedule usually states that the parties will have the children at all times mutually agreed upon, but failing mutual agreement, they must follow the schedule. The idea is that the parties will make the possession schedule work for them and the children, but if they are unable to work together, they will be able to follow the schedule set out in the order.
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It is presumed that the possession schedule applies to children three years of age and older. So, if your child is under three years old, you may need a nonstandard possession schedule. Usually for children under the age of three, the courts in Fort Worth and Tarrant County will attempt to give the parent frequent contact that moves into a standard possession order as quickly as possible.
Many occupations, such as police officers, firefighters, oil well workers, and pilots, to name a few, have schedules that require nonstandard possession orders. In these visitation rights cases, the courts typically attempt to insure a schedule that affords possession periods that are similar to the standard possession order, but that fall on the parent’s days off.
Remember: the courts can enter any possession order agreeable to the parties. However, if parties are unable to agree, the court will order a possession schedule that is in the child’s best interest.
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Sometimes, the court might make a decision unfavorable to you or your child. Don’t wait; make sure the court has all the facts. Call an experienced family law attorney at (817) 842-2336 today or contact us with our online form.