Mother’s Possession of Child Must be Supervised
In their divorce trial, Mother and other family members testified about Father’s adultery and his verbal and physical abuse of Mother. Mother also denied she had an alcohol problem.
Two police officers testified that when they went to Mother’s home for a family welfare check, it was in disrepair and disheveled. There were numerous beer cans scattered throughout the home. Mother appeared to be heavily under the influence of alcohol. The officers made a report entitled “endangering or abandonment of a child” and filed a CPS report. Another police officer testified he went to Mother’s home about a month before trial. Mother did not want to give their daughter to Father’s sister but she eventually gave the child to Father’s sister. Mother had repetitive speech, red and glassy eyes, and a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on her breath.
A CPS caseworker testified that Mother had completed all the requirements in her CPS case. Mother did not follow a doctor’s recommendation to put tubes in their daughter’s ears to help with frequent ear infections. Mother was asked to take a narcotics- and alcohol-use test, but because she did not do that the testing was deemed positive. To the CPS worker’s knowledge Mother had not abused, physically harmed, or placed their daughter in a position where her life was threatened; that Mother was not a threat to their daughter; and that their daughter appears bonded and attached to Mother and Mother’s home.
Father testified that their daughter had been in his care while the case was pending. He denied he had ever hit or abused Mother, and said Mother and her family members were lying. He described his work schedule as a highway construction superintendent. He takes their daughter to her toddler day care class, receives pictures and videos of her throughout the day and reports of what she ate during the day. When he picks her up from daycare they go home, do activities, watch TV and eat. She goes to sleep between 8 & 9. She is adjusted to the routine.
Father also testified that he takes their daughter to doctor’s appointments. He and Mother have had conflicts about medical care. Often Mother will take their daughter to the ER after he’s taken her to the doctor. He tells Mother when their daughter is sick, sends her doctor’s reports, and emails her the doctor’s instructions for taking care of their daughter.
The trial judge gave Father the exclusive right to establish their daughter’s primary residence, to make decisions about her education, and to enroll her in school. The judge gave Mother a standard visitation schedule and further required that she be supervised by her mother when she has possession of their daughter.
Mother appealed the trial judge’s decisions. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial judge’s rulings, noting that “[t]he best interest of [a] child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to [a] child.” The trial judge has broad discretion in fashioning terms for the visitation and possession of a child.
Supervised Possession Upheld. Magro v. Magro, No. 01-19-00701-CV (Tex. App.—Houston, Dec. 10, 2020)
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