When parents go through a divorce in Texas, there is no one right answer when it comes to child custody. Unlike assets, which must be split 50-50, there is no requirement that parents share custody equally although it is recommended that parents do this when possible. When negotiating issues relating to children, there are some points of advice you should keep in mind.
Pick the right custody schedule for the right reasons
Parents sometimes vie for child custody solely to upset their ex or to get leverage. Though splitting up can heighten feelings of animosity towards an ex-partner, it is not a good idea to use children as bargaining chips. Parents who are unable to commit to a custody schedule because of work or other commitments should be cognizant of these limitations and plan a schedule accordingly. Parents should also consider what is in the best interests of their children. For instance, younger children may struggle emotionally if they go too long without seeing one parent or another, so for them, it is best to alternate custody every few days.
Parents also need to know when to pick their battles. For instance, if one parent is 15 minutes late to pick a child up from the other parent’s custody on one occasion, this is not a reason to start a fight. Parents should also be open to changing their custody schedule when the need arises, such as if one parent is sent on a business trip. Parents should come up with a game plan in advance for these situations, such as deciding who will take the children if something like work does come up. Parents should also refrain from speaking ill of each other to their children, since it will do nothing but harm to the children.
Exes who end on bad terms should experiment with different forms of communication to see what is easiest for them. Some people may find texting more tolerable than speaking on the phone whereas others may want to use a shared calendar. Parents may also consider consulting with a family law attorney for help coming up with a child custody and co-parenting plan.