Unique Goals for Your Child’s Possession Schedule? Read This Blog to Learn How to Achieve Those Goals

In my experience, many fathers express a desire for 50/50 or split custody with their spouse post-divorce, often believing it’s the best outcome they can achieve. However, it’s important to recognize that fathers have the right to pursue primary conservatorship if that aligns with their wishes. Alternatively, aiming for a 50/50 custody split is also a valid goal for fathers seeking a fair child possession schedule.

Negotiating 50/50 custody in divorce

Achieve your custody goals by negotiating with your spouse, as most divorces reach resolution through negotiation. It’s unlikely for your case to go to trial, but if it does, know that judges typically favor standard possession orders outlined in the Texas Family Code over 50/50 custody arrangements. However, courts are increasingly open to split custody arrangements as parents take on roles traditionally assigned to one gender.

Consider your plans for the summers carefully. What is going to work best for you and your child when it comes to their summer holiday? In SPO situations one parent will always be the one to have to choose which extended period of time he or she wants to have with your child. However, if you are splitting custody 50/50 that means either one of you will get first dibs on selecting an extended period of summer visitation. It may make sense to negotiate for a provision in your final decree of divorce where you can alternate between parents on which one is able to select their period of summer possession first. Make sure you send your choice to your ex-spouse in writing and do so in email and letter form just to be safe.

What to do when your child is very young?

If you talk to ten different attorneys/judges about issues related to custody of children under the age of three you are likely to get ten different responses. The subject is pretty difficult to discuss without having someone get animated about their opinion, is what I have found in my time as a family law attorney. As a father of two girls under the age of three, I understand the difficulties of raising young children and sympathize with the difficulties parents must face in sharing time with little ones.

The issues that complicate this subject relate to fathers being able to be named primary conservators of infants, mothers who are still breastfeeding as well as how to handle overnight visitation. There is a school of thought that says a child must develop a strong relationship with Mom early in life or he or she will face problems down the road. Others will argue that this is not true and that fathers can offer the same nurturing that a mother can. No matter how you feel about that, rest assured that your judge will have an opinion.

Overnight visitation considerations in divorce

The next issue that you need to think about is how will you handle overnight visitation and whether it is something that you and your child are capable of. I say whether it is something that you are capable of because I can think of many parents who don’t do well with their child unless it is in a co-parenting environment. Every parent has their own strengths and weaknesses, myself included. How well you do with getting your child ready for bed and having him or her settle in for a good night’s rest is something only you and your spouse could attest to. Whether or not it is something you are capable of taking on immediately after your divorce is something for you to consider.

Practical considerations for overnight visitation

Finally, there are practical concerns that relate to whether or not your spouse is still breastfeeding your child. Again, I will do my best to tread lightly here but I think it’s fair to say that many mothers see nothing wrong with breastfeeding their children until age two- and sometimes beyond. Even if you are not in a somewhat extreme situation like this- infants need milk and if you are the father of an infant you need to have a plan in place if you are requesting overnight visitation with your infant child.

What I have seen become much more common in recent years in the family law courts is a stairstep approach to this issue. Possession schedules that allow parents (usually fathers) to increase the time that they are able to spend with their child under the age of three as they grow older. Obviously, if your child is special needs or has other circumstances that may inhibit your ability to negotiate for an increased time early on in their life you need to take that into consideration prior to negotiating for it or attempting to argue your points to a judge.

Handling the issue of coming up with a possession schedule for teenagers

On the other end of the age, spectrum come teenagers. Once a child reaches high school you are dealing with a completely different situation than you were when that same child was 11 or even 12. Your child will always be your “baby” but a teenager is developing their own way of asserting autonomy. Their interest probably lies more in spending time with friends than with you and your family. Once your child learns how to drive and has their own vehicle all bets are off as far as how time will be shared by you and your ex-spouse.

What you and your spouse will need to do is to learn how to strike a balance between wanting each of you to have enough time to spend with your child while also being keen to your child’s need to develop independence and skills concerning self-reliance. Only you will know what you are comfortable with and what your child is capable of. This is why it pays to communicate your goals to your attorney so that he or she can work with you to develop a game-plan for achieving goals. If you and your spouse differ on your views relating to this subject it can take time and effort to negotiate a middle ground with which you can both be satisfied.

Closing thoughts on the subject of unique possession schedules- tomorrow’s blog post topic

Thank you for your interest in this crucial topic. As families evolve, the demand for flexible and adaptable possession schedules grows accordingly. If you seek further guidance on managing irregular work schedules within the context of a child possession schedule, stay tuned to our blog. Tomorrow’s post will delve into this topic, offering additional insights and closing thoughts.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding family law issues please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week where we can address concerns and answer questions in a pressure-free environment. We take the responsibility of representing the people in our community very strongly and believe it to be an honor to represent our neighbors in a variety of family law cases. From Katy to The Woodlands and down to League City, we work with and for our clients to achieve their goals.


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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

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 one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

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