What rights do I have as the primary care provider when it comes to visitation before temporary or custody orders are in place?

UPDATED: Aug 21, 2012

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What rights do I have as the primary care provider when it comes to visitation before temporary or custody orders are in place?

Beings that we haven’t gone to court to establish custody, don’t I run the risk of not getting them back if I allow them to visit their father?

Asked on August 21, 2012 under Family Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Until there is an official order in place (either temporary or final), both parents have the exact same rights and access to their children.  This means that either parent can remove their child from school, arrange doctor's appointments, or decide to relocate.  The only thing a parent cannot do is trump another parent's right.  So if the child is with dad, the police cannot require him to turn the child over to mom unless mom has a court order-- because his right of access is equal to hers.  If the child was with a baby sitter, then mom could retrieve the child because her right of access and possession are greater than those of the babysitter. 

With this in mind, if you do allow the child to go to father's house, then "yes", you do run the risk of not getting them back until some type of orders regarding possession and access are in place.

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