G. Visitation Schedule

1. Visitation with Certain Children

DFPS must develop a temporary visitation schedule for children in in the temporary managing conservatorship of DFPS when the goal is reunification with the child's parent. Tex. Fam. Code § 262.115(b).

DFPS shall ensure that a parent who is otherwise entitled to possession of the child has an opportunity to visit the child not later than the fifth day after the date DFPS is named temporary managing conservator of the child unless:

•   DFPS determines that visitation is not in the child's best interest; or

•   Visitation with the parent would conflict with a court order relating to possession of or access to the child. Tex. Fam. Code § 262.115(c).

2. Temporary Visitation Schedule

Before a hearing conducted under Tex. Fam. Code Chapter 262, Subchapter C, DFPS in collaboration with each parent of the child must develop a temporary visitation schedule for the child's visits with each parent. The visitation schedule may conform to the minimum visitation policies of DFPS. DFPS shall consider the factors listed in Tex. Fam. Code § 263.107(c) in developing the temporary visitation schedule. Unless modified by court order, the schedule remains in effect until a visitation plan is developed under Tex. Fam. Code § 263.107. Tex. Fam. Code § 262.115(d).

DFPS may include the temporary visitation schedule in any report DFPS submits to the court before or during a hearing under Tex. Fam. Code Chapter 262, Subchapter C. The court may render any necessary order regarding the temporary visitation schedule. Tex. Fam. Code § 262.115(e).

Special Issue: In approving a temporary visitation schedule or a visitation plan, judges should consider ways to minimize trauma to the child and ensure that all safety issues have been taken into account. Please see the Domestic Violence chapter in this Bench Book for additional information regarding safety issues and visitation.