One step that is necessary for parents in Texas who are getting a divorce is making a schedule for custody and visitation. It is important for parents to keep in mind that the purpose of this schedule is for the child to maintain the relationship to each of them and that this could mean they are sometimes inconvenienced.
Parents should not look on the schedule as a way to punish the other parent. They should also avoid trying to keep score and should not assume that just because the other parent has a different approach to parenting, that approach is wrong. The parenting schedule should be based on whatever the current situation is and not on what the parents hope may happen in a few years. For example, the schedule should not be created with the assumption that in a few years, one parent will move closer.
Logistics should be taken into account. This includes such things as how far the parents live from one another and from the child’s school. The parents should also consider the child’s extracurricular activities and overall schedule. Older children might be allowed input into the schedule. Some children may have special needs, and that will need to be taken into account as well.
Negotiating child custody can be a difficult element of divorce. However, parents’ attorneys may be able to assist in this process. After the divorce, the court usually prefers that parents try to resolve minor child custody issues between themselves, but there are situations that could require a return to court. For example, if one parent wishes to relocate far enough away that it will have an impact on the custody schedule, this may require a judge’s approval. Another situation might be one in which one parent is concerned about the child’s safety with the other parent.