Understanding visitation rights is difficult enough under normal circumstances,
and only gets more complicated when military service is involved. Because
of this, both custodial and noncustodial military parents are required
to have an advanced plan for when they are deployed. Courts in Texas create
year-round visitation schedules that vary depending on if the noncustodial
parent lives within 100 miles of the custodial conservator. The struggle
for deployed noncustodial parents serving in the military is no longer
being able to adhere to the established, and sometimes limited, visitation
time they have with their children. Under Texas law, a noncustodial parent
has two options when deciding how to utilize their lost visitation time.
One option for a noncustodial parent is petitioning the court for temporary
orders. If approved, the noncustodial parent can designate a representative
to exercise their visitation rights while they are deployed. This person
must be approved by the court and act in the best interests of the child.
Noncustodial parents also have the option of petitioning the court for
makeup visitation time upon their return from deployment or temporary
military duty. This petition must be made within 90 days of the parent’s
return from deployment. In all circumstances, the court will always take
the best interests of the child into account before making a decision.
After deliberation, the court will settle on a reasonable amount of makeup
visitation time, but the additional hours may be limited if temporary
orders were granted.
For more information regarding custody and visitation laws, please
contact the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny
at (713) 936-2300.