The end of a marriage does not represent the end of a parent’s desire to provide his or her children with stability and security. Even when they no longer want to remain married, Texas parents still want to strive to make this transition as smooth and painless as possible for the children. One way that they may do this is by agreeing to a joint custody agreement.
Parents often come to this agreement on their own, but many courts now prefer joint custody, as there are significant benefits for the children when they have regular and equitable access to both parents after divorce. Either way, you know that it will be important for the well-being of your family to make this type of arrangement run as smoothly as possible.
Will it be difficult?
Joint custody is often best for the children, but that does not necessarily mean that it will be the easiest choice for the parents. You and the other parent probably both have strong feelings to deal with from your divorce, and now you will need to work together to raise your children. This may mean that you have to set aside how you feel in the moment and focus on your kids.
Your feelings are valid, but they do not necessarily indicate what will be best long-term. It is in your interests and those of your children to keep your eyes on the future and securing terms that will work for years to come. The ultimate tip for making joint custody work is to keep the best interests of the children as the main priority over everything else.
Talking and working together
Joint custody may work better when two parents live close by. This will make it easier to get kids from house to house, but it can also provide them a sense of continuity of lifestyle. Joint custody will also require that you be willing to talk to each other and work together.
Another important aspect of making a joint custody arrangement work well is to be willing to cooperate on matters of financial support. Your order should clearly spell out which parent is responsible for specific expenses, but there may be times when unexpected things pop up. While you should pursue a fair outcome to these situations, it may be beneficial to maintain a willingness to compromise.
A solid foundation
The foundation for any good joint custody plan is a strong, thorough and thoughtful custody order. The terms you include in your divorce order matter, and you may find it helpful to first discuss your agreement with an experienced family law attorney.