Making decisions that can affect your children after divorce is not an easy task. It can be hard to make choices that will make sense for your Texas family while both protecting your parental rights and the needs of your children. This is why many parents find it beneficial to opt for a joint custody agreement.
Joint custody means that parents will share parenting time and responsibility for raising the children after divorce. This works differently for each family, and you have the right to craft a custody order that makes sense for your unique situation. This option allows the kids to have strong relationships with both parents after divorce, which is greatly beneficial for every member of the family.
The elements of joint custody
In a joint custody arrangement, you and your spouse will share custody, but that does not necessarily mean that it will be an equal 50-50 split. It is nearly impossible for this to happen, which is why it is most beneficial to focus on what makes the most sense. In a true joint custody arrangement, parents will equitably share both of the following types of custody:
- Legal custody -- This is the right that a parent has to make choices on behalf of his or her child. This includes things like religious upbringing, educational choices and healthcare matters.
- Physical custody -- This is the amount of time that a child will spend with his or her parents. This includes weekends, vacations, weeknights and more.
When discussing the terms of your joint custody arrangement, you will want to think about what is best both now and well into the future. The more thorough and specific you can be, the less likely it is that you and your ex-spouse will end up in disputes over the children in the future.
The right perspective
You may feel hurt and even angry over your divorce, and perhaps rightfully so. However, your children should never pay the price for the decisions made by their parents. It's not easy to set aside your own feelings for the sake of your kids, but it's worthwhile to put their needs first.
If you are unsure of how joint custody could work for you or what it will look like in your situation, you may want to start by seeking a complete evaluation of your case. This can help you understand your legal options and how you can choose the best future for your family.