When navigating divorce and child custody, one of the trickiest challenges is dividing the time a child or children spend with each parent. The Texas Family Code provides a standard, called a Standard Possession Order, to make this process easier and many courts revert to this standard by default. Typically, this works out to a 44/ 56 split, with the primary, custodial parent spending the majority of the time with the child or children.
However, there are some cases in which parents wish to divide time more evenly or create a visitation schedule that deviates from the default. When approaching such a change, there are many factors for parents to take into consideration
- The child’s best interest. One of the first things a parent should consider when determining visitation is what works best for the child. Although this concept may seem obvious, it is often overlooked.
- Proximity. An important factor to consider is the proximity of both co-parents’ homes to the child’s school or daycare.
- The co-parent relationship. When determining a visitation schedule that differs from the one outlined by a Standard Possession Order, co-parents should ensure that they are able to collaborate effectively and reach a mutually agreeable decision.
- Factors other than time. Equal visitation is not just about equal time. Parents should consider other factors, such as the time a child spends with third parties and not either parent.
- Legal assistance. The various visitation options can be difficult to understand and consider. An attorney can help families navigate this tricky topic and provide legal guidance.
At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as well as teaching seminars, classes and other forms of professional development.