Child custody is often one of the most commonly contested issues between two parents facing divorce. Texas parents are naturally concerned with the best interests of their children, and you want to do everything to ensure you are able to retain a strong relationship with your children after the divorce process is final.
Navigating child custody concerns is never easy, even between two parents who resolve to remain amicable and work on a custody and visitation plan that is in the best interests of the kids. As a parent, it can be greatly beneficial to understand how custody decisions are made and what you can do to protect your parental rights.
Considering all factors
Child custody and visitation schedules can be emotionally challenging issues. Parents may want as much time as possible with their kids, and coming to a reasonable resolution may seem impossible. There are two ways that custody is resolved in a divorce:
- Court ruling
- Negotiated agreement between parents
Many parents find it beneficial to work together on an agreement that suits the individual needs of their unique family. However, a negotiated agreement is not always possible, and some parents are unable to reach a reasonable conclusion without the intervention of the court. Regardless of whether a judge decides or you and the other parent decide how custody and visitation will work, the following factors may be considered:
- School schedules
- Work schedules of both parents
- The preferences of the child
- Holiday visitation
- Educational preferences
- Health care and insurance
- Drop-off and pick-up procedures
The ultimate goal of any custody order is the protection of the best interests of the children. Regardless of your personal feelings, you would be prudent to make practical, fact-based decisions, not emotionally charged decisions. This can help you secure an arrangement that will work for you and your kids for years to come.
Protecting your rights as a parent
As a parent, you have the right to retain a strong relationship with your children, even after your marriage is over. As you move forward and pursue a beneficial custody and visitation order, you would be wise to learn more about your parental rights and how you can protect them.
A complete evaluation of your case can do this, as well as give you an understanding of the most practical course of action for you. Whether you will negotiate an agreement or go to court, you have the right to fight for your role in your child's life.