Texans who are juggling parental and career responsibilities can feel particularly challenged by the limitations that a custody arrangement may place on them. While it can seem unfair for a non-working parent to have more parenting time, the working parent can effectively fight for the right to more access to their child if they are willing to make the necessary adjustments to their lifestyle.
If the parents can’t agree on visitation and parenting time, the noncustodial parent has the right of possession under a standard possession order if they live within 50 miles of each other, which includes:
- First, third and fifth weekends of every month
- Thursday evenings during the year
- Alternating holidays
- Extended time of up to 30 days during the summer
Of course, it is always preferable to come up with an arrangement that suits the unique needs of each family. But any Texas conservatorship order will prioritize the needs of the child, so parents who share this focus will likely advocate more effectively for an increased role in their child’s life.
Creating space for your child
In spite of the stress and time limits that a busy career can create, there are ways to make the most of a limited custody arrangement, such as:
- Focusing on the child’s needs and being realistic about your own time constraints. No matter how much you want to be with your children, you will need to understand if your job responsibilities will allow you to take them to and from school, feed them, and have enough space in your job responsibilities to accommodate an unexpected schedule change or sudden illness.
- Being candid with your boss and coworkers about your situation so that you can see how much flexibility they will accommodate. Even competitive corporate work environments are more open to lifestyle change more than ever before.
- Make sure that both sides follow the rules. If one parent hires a babysitter occasionally, the other should have leeway to do this also.
- Do not make the mistake of thinking that the non-working parent is a better caretaker when advocating for your own right to parenting time, especially if you believe that this is in the best interests of the child.
Quality time counts
When juggling work and childcare duties, knowing your limits is essential to making it work and being able to not just be there, but to spend quality time with your child. It is easier to convince a judge of your intentions if they see that your efforts are realistic.
When seeking co-parenting solutions, it is best to find legal advocacy that will support your wishes and help you explore your options.