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Texas TFRM has completed a study of custody awards and visitation schedules in Brazoria County Texas. Looking at two months of court cases in the 300th district court, we can now quantify the distribution of visitation time awarded between primary and nonprimary parents, in Brazoria County at least.
The study’s key findings included a showing that only 9% of visitation orders allow more than the legally prescribed minimum (4 days a month) and only 5% of the orders allowed 50/50 visitation. Additionally, only 7% of primary parents were men.
The study was prompted by misinformation spread to our legislature in the the last legislative session concerning the distribution of visitation schedules in Texas. Specifically, the Texas Family Law Foundation (TFLF) was informing the legislature that non-primary parents already received 47% visitation time with their children. The TFLF is self described as being the lobbying arm of the family law section of the state bar, although it is illegal for the state bar to lobby. The TFLF made the claim about non-custodial parents receiving 47% time with their children in response to H.B. 453, a bill which, if passed, would give judges the option of allowing 50% visitation time. That’s an option the TFLF does not want judges to be allowed to exercise.
At Texas TFRM we want all of Texas, and specifically the Texas Legislature, to be aware of the true nature of visitation orders in Texas. It has long been proved that limiting a child’s visitation to one of their parents to a mere 4 days a monthy is detrimental to children, induces ongoing litigation and high conflict court battles. This is the first of many like reports that we plan to carry out to give a representative analysis of visitation schedules awarded in all of Texas. Hopefully our work will help shed light on one of the most serious problems faced in Texas today. A problem which is detrimental to the wellbeing of Texas’ most vulnerable and beloved assets, our children.
Ben Beveridge, firstname.lastname@example.org