Parenting a Young Child after Divorce in Texas

Parenting a Young Child after Divorce in Texas

When most people contemplate life with children after a divorce their thoughts may go toward considering how to explain the changes to their child. Divorce doesn’t just mean adjusting to a new routine but also learning how to co-parent a child with an ex-spouse with whom you no longer reside.

This is a difficult enough problem as it is, but in some instances the child isn’t even old enough to have a talk with. For those parents who are divorcing while their child is still very young there can be additional challenges to life post-divorce. If this is a situation that affects you and your family, please read on to learn how the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC have dealt with this problem with prior clients and how we may serve you in much the same way.

Standard by Which a Court Evaluates Child Visitation Under Age 3

Past clients of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC who have children under the age of three have had different perspectives on parenting a very young child. For the custodial parent (the parent with whom the child lives primarily) their concern is stability and consistency for the child first and foremost.

It should not surprise you then that these clients would prefer the other parent (non custodial parent) to have limited visitation with the young child with no overnight visits. On the other end of the spectrum are clients (usually Fathers) who would like as much time with their young child despite the protests of the other party.

Courts will apply a stricter standard to visitation plans for children under the age of three. Just for starters, the Court must take the following into consideration:

  1. the ability of the parents to share the rights, responsibilities, and duties of parenting
  2. the child’s physical, behavioral and developmental needs
  3. who previously provided care and/or the amount of contact between parents and child
  4. whether a transition schedule is needed to help the child adjust
  5. the relationship between the parents and how well they get along
  6. the child’s normal routine
  7. the distance between the parents’ residences
  8. the affect of the separation from either party will have on the child
  9. brothers and sisters (if any) of the young child
  10. the influence of other persons who will be present during the periods of the possession of either parent

What Parents Can Do to Maximize Their Odds to Get Standard Visitation

Parenting a Young Child after Divorce in Texas

When a non-custodial parent has had minimal contact with their child, courts typically initiate a gradual visitation plan. This plan starts with brief visitations to help the child adjust to the new person in their life and allows the parent to ease into childcare. Known as “stair step plans,” these arrangements set benchmarks for increasing visitation.

The best advice for a non-custodial parent is to be as active and involved as possible in their child’s life. Demonstrating parenting skills and a strong bond with the child can influence the court’s decision. Courts are more likely to grant standard visitation rights to parents who show consistent, positive involvement in their child’s life, emphasizing the importance of this relationship for the child’s development.

Mediation as an Alternative to a Court Mandated Parenting Plan

The most desirable option for parties is to attend mediation rather than to go to Court in order to have a judge determine the parenting plan and visitation schedule. In attending mediation the parties have an opportunity to come to their own conclusions about what is appropriate for their child rather than a stranger in a black robe.

It’s the parties that can agree on the strengths and weaknesses of one another than can avoid the tedious, expensive and drawn out nature of a courtroom divorce and instead opt to settle their case and begin to parent the child. This is opposed to attending court appearances and lawyer meetings rather than parenting the child.

Are Overnight Visits With a Non Custodial Parent a Good Thing?

Parenting a Young Child after Divorce in Texas

In short- yes, they are. It is based on the experience of the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC that frequent contact with both parents is critically important to raising a healthy child. A child begins to bond with their parents during their infant years and lack of time with both parents during these years may be harmful.

This is because parents bring different strengths and positive attributes to the life of a child. From having spoken to clients, mothers and fathers alike, the relationship with each parent is forged during these early years before we may even realize a bond is capable of being forged. Obviously there are reasons why visitation may need to be restricted for some parents in some situations. On the whole, however, absent extraordinary circumstances it is critical for both parents to have significant time allotted to them in a divorce decree. This would include overnight visits for children under age 3.

Experienced Representation in Southeast Texas Divorce Cases

If you are going through a divorce now is the time to investigate and retain an attorney who would best serve the interests of your family and yourself. The Houston divorce attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC are strong advocates for the rights of our clients- especially in regard to their children. While no divorce is ever easy, our attorneys and staff pride themselves on managing the issues of a divorce case and delivering results a client can be proud of. In order to learn more about our office please contact us today for a free of charge consultation.


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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Lawyer

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s important to speak with ar Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

A divorce lawyer in Spring TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.