Texas parents who are going through the custody process are probably familiar with many traditional custody schedules that parents have used for years.
If you are not doing shared custody, you may default to one parent having partial custody every other weekend. This has customarily been what many parents have done when they are not sharing custody.
The best interest of the child standard
However, you and your co-parent can do any type of custody schedule that works for both of you if you both agree. Texas custody law determines a custody schedule based on what is in the best interest of a child, and that is different for every case.
In fact, using the standard every other weekend schedule has disadvantages. One of the biggest and most obvious drawbacks is that there is quite a bit of time that elapses between the weekends.
It is very hard for a parent to play an active and meaningful role in their child’s life when there is almost a 2-week gap between visits. Additionally, changing the schedule to every weekend does not solve the problem, since that then deprives the other parent from ever enjoying a weekend with the child.
In general, an every-other-weekend schedule should be used only if you and your co-parent live a considerable distance apart, such as an hour or more.
Some ideas to consider
Some parents choose to handle this problem by adding an additional weeknight in for the parent with primary custody. However, that can cause more stress for everyone since it interrupts the child’s weeknight routine and may mean less time for homework or other responsibilities.
Other options to think about include giving the parent with partial custody three weekends out of the month, or adding an additional day onto the every-other-weekend schedule. Starting a weekend on a Thursday or ending it on a Monday can allow the parent and child to spend some more quality time together.
Only you know what is best for your situation. It may help to talk over potential options with a custody attorney.