A. Court Duties

Per Tex. Fam. Code § 263.107, not later than the 30th day after the date DFPS is named TMC of a child for whom the goal of DFPS is reunification with the parent, it must develop a visitation plan in collaboration with each parent. In determining the frequency and circumstances of visitation, DFPS is to consider the safety and best interest of the child, the child’s age, the desires of each parent regarding visitation with the child, the location of each parent and the child, and the resources available to DFPS, including resources to ensure visitation is properly supervised and provide transportation to the visit. Please see the DFPS Visitation Plan template for more information.[49]

DFPS must file the visitation plan with the court 10 days before the Status Hearing, and the court must review the plan, taking into consideration those factors specified in Tex. Fam. Code § 263.107.

Per Tex. Fam. Code § 263.108, after reviewing an original or amended visitation plan, the court must render an order regarding the parent’s visitation with a child that the court determines is appropriate. Parents may petition the court to request review and modification of an original or amended plan. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.108(c).

Tex. Fam. Code § 263.109 states that if the court finds that visitation between a child and a parent is not in the child’s best interest, the court shall render an order that states the reasons that visitation is not in the best interest of the child, and that outlines specific steps the parent must take to have visitation. DFPS has developed a “No Contact Visitation Plan” that requires documentation of why visitation is not in the child’s best interest and what needs to occur in order for contact or visitation to begin. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.109(b). Please see the DFPS No Contact Visitation Plan template for more information.[50]

Also, if the order requires supervised visitation, it must outline specific steps the parent must take to have the level of supervision reduced. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.109(c).