May the court allow a parent to have access to a child if the court finds that awarding access would not endanger the child’s physical health or emotional welfare and would be in the best interest of the child?   

            Yes, if the court renders a possession order that is designed to protect the safety and well-being of the child and any other person who has been a victim of family violence committed by the parent. Texas Family Code 153.004(d-1)(1-2).

May the court order that the period of access be continuously supervised?

            Yes, And the supervision may be by an entity or person chosen by the court. Texas Family Code 153.004(d-1)(2)(A).

May the court order that the exchange of possession of the child must occur in a protective setting?

            Yes. Texas Family Code 153.004 (d-1)(2)(B).

May the court order that a parent abstain from the consumption of alcohol or a controlled substance? 

            Yes, requiring abstention from alcohol or controlled substance within 12 hours prior to or during access. Texas Family Code 153.004 (d-1)(2)(C).

May the court render a possession order which requires the parent to attend and complete batterers intervention prevention program? 

            Yes, but if such program is not available, to complete a course of treatment under section 153.010.  Texas Family Code 153.004 (d-1)(2)(D).

When is there a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interest of a child for a parent to have unsupervised visitation?

             If credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect or abuse or family violence by that parent or any person who resides in that parent’s home or who has unsupervised access to the child. Texas Family Code 153.004 (e).

What shall the court consider in determining whether there is credible evidence of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect or abuse or family violence by a parent or other person?

            Whether a protective order was rendered against the parent or other person during the two-year period Preceding the filing of the suit or during the pendency of the suit.  Texas Family Code 153.004 (f).

 When shall the court appoint at least one managing conservator?

            If the parents are or will be separated. Texas Family Code 153.005(a)(1-2).

What must a “managing conservator” be?   

            A parent, a competent adult, the Department of family and protective services, or a licensed child-placing agency.  Texas Family Code 153.005(b).

In making an appointment of a managing conservator, what must the court consider?    

            Whether Preceding the filing of a lawsuit or during the pendency of the suit, a party engaged in a history or pattern of family violence, child abuse or neglect, or if a final protective order was rendered against a party.  Texas Family Code 153.005 (c)(1-3).

When does a court not need to specify and expressly state in its order the times and conditions for possession or access to the child?

            When a party shows good cause why specific orders would not be in the best interest of the child. Texas Family Code 153.006(c).

May the parties enter into an agreed parenting plan containing provisions for conservatorship and possession of the child and for modification of the parenting plan, including variations from the standard possession order?

            Yes, if it is in writing. Texas Family Code 153.007(a).

Does the court have to approve the agreed parenting plan?

             No. The court must find that the agreed parenting plan is in the child’s best interest. Texas Family Code 153.007(b).

What are the enforcement mechanisms for terms of an agreed parenting plan?  

            An agreed parenting plan may be enforced by all remedies available for enforcement of a judgment, including contempt, but the terms are not enforceable as a contract.  Texas Family Code 153.007(c).

To be enforceable, do the terms of the agreed parenting plan have to be contained in the order?          

            The terms of the agreed parenting plan can be contained in the order, or incorporated by reference. Texas Family Code 153.007(c).

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