Legal Question in Family Law in Texas

My son's father was recently jailed for child endangerment involving my son (stole from a store, ran out with my son jumped in the car and took off). We have a temporary order that states he is to have a minimun of 3 hours a week visitation with my son, supervised by his grandmother. At the time we went to court he did not have a job, so could not do the family center. I agreed to this since it would be temporary, this was last minute in front of the judge. However, I have been supervising the visits, in a public place, because something always comes up with his grandmother and I don't want to keep my son from his father. I want to do supervised visitation for the final order, but his father still does not have a job and we go back to court very soon. Is it wrong that I supervised these visits? Should he file for continuance? Should I go ahead with what I want, even though ultimately my son will not see his dad until he can afford to pay for the visits at the center? Also, I have no money for an attorney, I've had to do this all myself, I'm sure I have taken missteps along the way. The judge was very frustrated at me for not getting a temporary order while he was in jail. But all of the hotlines I had called had to me to just do a Petition to Modify.

Asked on 11/09/18, 10:58 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Thomas Daley KoonsFuller PC

The number one consideration is to do what is in your son's best interest. That can be complicated enough to figure out without worrying about other grown people's problems. If dad wants to spend time with his child, he will figure out how to make enough money to make that happen.

Having said that, what I would suggest is that you take a VERY CLOSE look at what it is about dad that endangers the child. Where does dad live? Is that a safe place? How old is your son? Can your son work a cell phone to call for help? The reason I ask is that you may not need supervised visits in order to protect your son. For example, what if you said that dad gets possession from Noon to 2pm every Saturday that follows the first, third, and fifth Friday of each month so long as YOU drop your son off at a public place, e.g. the mall, a park, his mother's home, the entire visitation takes place at that public place, and YOU pick your son up at the end of the visit. That would give them some regular time together in a safe place.

That may not be a perfect or even good solution for your situation, but my point is to think very broadly about what you can do to protect your son's physical safety and emotional development while also letting your son spend some safe time with his father.

In answer to one of your other questions: No, it's not absolutely wrong for you to supervise, but it is probably not a great idea.

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Answered on 11/20/18, 12:16 pm

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