Custody or even access to a child can be legally denied to a parent if neglect, physical attacks or sexual abuse can be proven. However, visitation rights may be granted at the discretion of a court if certain conditions are observed.
When a parent with a history of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or child neglect gains visitation rights to a child, restrictions will be imposed by the court. The Family Code of Texas under Section 153.004 specifies that a parent can see a child if it would be in the best interest of the child, and the threat of physical or emotional danger is no longer present. In addition to this condition, the court can assign someone to supervise the visit at all times.
The location of the visit is also designated by court. During the meeting, the parent must also be sober and not have had any alcohol or drugs for at least 12 hours before the visit. The parent may also be required to attend and complete a class for abusers so as to learn to control his or her behavior. The decision by the court about whether or not it is safe for an abusive person to visit his or her child is based on evidence of domestic violence, sexual abuse or neglect gathered during the prior two years.
A person seeking visitation sometimes chooses to consult with an attorney. Depending on the situation, an attorney might be able to obtain rights to visit a child under supervision. The rights of the parent might be successfully asserted if the evidence against him or her is open to challenge or the parent can show that he or she poses no threat to the child.