Possession and Access – Are they the same thing? – The terms possession and access sound a lot alike, and in many people’s mind, you can’t have one without the other. It’d be like having shoelaces with no shoes, or a CD without a CD player, right?
After all, without possession, you can’t have access.
Believe it or not, there is a distinction between the two. Per the Texas Family Code, a person with rights of access to a child can approach, communicate with and visit the child. But they cannot take possession or control of the child. Conversely, a person with right to possession of a child can exercise possession and control of the child, to the exclusion of all other persons. So there truly is a distinction.
Once a conservator has been appointed by the court, they must be allocated periods of possession or access to the child. The court issues what’s called a Standard Possession Order (SPO) that details out the terms of possession and access, covering everything from Thursday evenings during the school year to normal weekends and holidays or vacations.
And as discussed in previous blogs, it’s all done in the child’s best interest.
Possession and Access
With that said, a party can ask the court to restrict a conservator’s right to possession and access if it is in the child’s best interest. For example, perhaps the visitation rights for one parent are limited to when a therapist is present. A party can also request complete denial of both rights.
Courts differ on when to consider complete denial of access to a parent, but a complete denial of access should rarely be ordered and is only brought into play for the following circumstances:
1. Drug or alcohol abuse
2. Family violence, sexual abuse and pregnancy caused by criminal act
3. Risk of international child abduction
4. False report of child abuse
5. Mental health
6. Parental alienation
7. Any other relevant factor
There is a lot more that goes into rights of possession and access. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this – or any other – issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today. For more information about Brett Nelson visit BrettANelson.com