When parents go through a divorce or breakup, they must consider how to share their child. Until a child reaches 18, it is critical to the child’s development that parents create a smooth path for their child. This involves the parents determining what visitation schedule the child will have with each parent. If the parents do not agree, the Court will determine a schedule.
In Texas, the best interest of the child is always the primary concern of the court in deciding parental rights and duties, possession and access, and child support. A critical part of the parent’s role is to understand that the parties create and maintain a peaceful co-parenting relationship after their divorce.
Typically, one parent will be given the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of a child. The parent who obtains this right is referred to as the custodial parent. The other parent is referred to as the non-custodial parent, but the parents still share other major decision-making rights related to their child.
Visitation can be completely customized by the parties, but in the absence of an agreement, the court will typically apply the Standard Possession Order. This schedule gives the non-custodial parent visitation each Thursday during the school year, and on odd-numbered weekends, shared holidays, and a lengthy period of summer possession. This schedule may not be ideal for parents with a unique work schedule or children with special needs.
It is important to meet with an attorney who can help you understand your options, how the Court may view the details of your case, and offer creative solutions to ensure the best interest of the child is protected and that you maximize your time spent with your children.
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