Custody is one of the most contested and emotionally charged issues in any divorce, no matter how amicable two parents may be. Texas parents know that the end of their marriage can be emotionally traumatic for their kids, which is why you may want to ease this process and make their post-divorce lives as smooth as possible. One way you may be able to accomplish this is by choosing joint custody.
Joint custody essentially means that two divorced parents will work together to parent their children jointly. What this would actually look like for your family will depend on the nature of your individual circumstances, but it can provide your kids with stability and regular access to both parents. If you are divorcing, you may find it beneficial to learn more about joint custody and your parental rights.
How does joint custody work?
While joint custody does imply that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will jointly parent your kids, this does not necessarily mean that you will share exactly equal parenting time. In any custody arrangement, it can be useful to understand the terms legal custody and physical custody. The differences between the two are as follows:
- Physical custody involves any time your kids will actually spend with one parent, such as during school breaks, over the weekends and even during holidays.
- Legal custody is the authority that one parent or both parents will have to make important decisions for your kids, such as decisions concerning education or religious upbringing.
In a true joint custody arrangement, parents will share both legal custody and physical custody. However, that may not work for you. It may be best for one parent to retain either legal or physical custody while sharing the other. No two families are the same, and you have the right to pursue an agreement that allows you to have the best possible post-divorce future with your kids.
The ultimate goal of your child custody arrangement
The ultimate goal in any child custody arrangement is the full protection of the best interests of your kids. However, that does not mean that you cannot also vigorously protect your parental rights as well.
If you are getting divorced and considering custody options, you may find it beneficial to first start by seeking a complete evaluation of your case and an explanation of how joint custody works. This will allow you to decide if you should pursue a joint custody arrangement or explore another option.