Figuring out possession schedules for your child in a family law case is like unraveling a tangle of fishhooks. Just when you think that you’ve solved one knot, another pops up out of nowhere. This is what happens in a family law case, right? Well, sometimes problems arise that are unavoidable. Other times there are issues that an experienced family law attorney can help you avoid without incident.
Interested in learning more? Do two things. First, read this blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Today we are going to share with you how to navigate the Standard Possession Order. This is the most well-known and most utilized possession order in Texas. Odds are good that your family will utilize it or some variation of it in your family law case. There are tips and tricks to help you and your child get the most out of this order, however. We will share with you those tips and tricks today.
Second, once you are through reading this blog post, give the experienced family law attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan a phone call. We offer free-of-charge consultations to people in our community just like you. No issue is too big, nor is any issue too small. With our collective experience, we fight for our clients and their families. Thank you for stopping by today.
Sharing possession of your child with a co-parent
One of the challenges of going through a family law case is understanding how to share custody. To this point, you and your co-parent become used to living in the same home and seeing your child when you want. Now that is all going to change. You are moving out of the marital home or your co-parent is. You’re buying new clothes, a bed, sheets, and everything else your child needs in their “new” home. This is not easy. Nor is it inexpensive.
Along with these changes and transitions comes another issue to consider. You and your co-parent are going to have to learn how to manage your time together as co-parents. Going through a divorce means that you are feeling like you are about to gain freedom from your co-parent. However, just as you gain that marital or relational freedom, you are locking yourself into an important status with this person. That status is as a co-parent with him or her.
Finding the co-parenting relationship to be difficult is normal for people in your position. Very few of us are born as successful co-parents. However, you do have what it takes to develop those skills as co-parents. This is something at which you need to work, however. Looking at your case and your family is a motivating factor. You want to do your best for your child. Let’s examine a real-life situation that will help us better understand the responsibilities and opportunities that come with co-parenting.
How to co-parent: learn from those who have done it
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan was recently able to serve and represent a mother of four children in her divorce. This mom and her husband married ten years ago. They had a nice home, retirement savings, college savings for the kids, and personal property. In other words- they were a prototypical, suburban Houston family.
Both parents worked from home which is a huge advantage in a custody situation. Say what you will about working from the office or working from home. However, working from home provides unmatched flexibility in terms of where you are and where you need to be. This is important when you are in a co-parenting situation. When both parents work from home you have an ideal circumstance.
Both our client and her husband were willing to put their children first. In a standard possession order, these parents maximized their time with their children. They arrived at a possession schedule that closely mirrored a standard possession order as far as time with each parent relates. However, they altered the specific schedule to a degree to take advantage of their work-from-home schedule. Both parents picked their kids up from school and could care for them after school.
More lessons from successful co-parents
What did these parents in the above example do that was so helpful to their children? Several things. We want to take the time to spell out for you what this family did that was so exemplary. First, the parents put their children. Every parent who is involved in a child custody or divorce case says that they are going to put their child first. However, this does not always happen. It is difficult in some instances to tell what is in your best interests and what is in the best interests of your child.
Rather than attempt to push the other parent around, both our client and her husband were comfortable with splitting custody time nearly 50/50. This allows both parents to have a consistent, stable, and ongoing relationship with the children. Arguments about how one parent or the other is getting an unfair amount of time will not happen here. The kids go home with both parents during the school week.
Next, both parents chose to live close to one another. All four kids attend the same school and have the same pick-up and drop-off schedule. All of this doesn’t make much of a difference unless the parents still live close together. Fortunately, the parents in this situation did choose to live close together. Our client took up the mortgage payment and stayed in the family home. Dad moved about five minutes away.
Pick up and drop off for the kids
This is a major area of concern for families like yours who are going through a child custody or divorce case. There are time management issues associated with picking up and dropping off kids. Getting to the house to pick up the kids on time for a parent is difficult. In this situation, our client and her husband shared in the picking up and dropping off the kids. It wasn’t like one parent was solely responsible for the pick-up and drop-off of the kids. Rather, both parents shared that responsibility and did so willingly.
Our client and her husband were also intentional about selecting times for dropping off and picking up the kids. For instance, within their divorce negotiations, the parents thought through how to pick up and drop off the kids works out. Many parents rush through the divorce just to get it over with. We have all been guilty of this from time to time. However, in something as important as a divorce this is not wise. Fortunately for the kids involved in this case, their parents took their time.
Pick up and drop off the kids on weekends typically takes place at 6:00 pm on Friday and on Sunday. However, these parents work from home, so they made it so pick up of the kids took place on Friday from school. Drop off the kids took place Monday morning at school. This would extend the parents’ weekends with their children and give the kids more time with each parent on those weekend periods.
Child support under a standard possession order
One of the most frustrating yet critical parts of a parenting plan is child support. Child support reflects the fact that financial and material support of children is critical to their success. When parents go through a child custody or divorce case child support is always a part of those court orders. Child support can vary from case to case, however. Here is how our former client chose to handle this subject successfully.
Child support guidelines in the Texas Family Code
The guidelines for child support in the Texas Family Code state how child support may be calculated in a Texas family law case. These calculations are based on determining the net monthly income of the paying parent. Next, the number of children in the case corresponds to a specific percentage of the net income of the paying parent. That percentage is multiplied against the net income to arrive at the monthly child support payment.
In a family law case, this is the default method for calculating child support. When parents cannot agree to a child support figure this is the way that a judge would determine child support. The great part of a child custody case is that you are given the power to make your own decisions. A judge does not necessarily get involved. However, the catch is that your co-parent and you must get on the same page. Disagreements put you in front of a judge.
Our client and her husband decided that a standard amount of child support would not be necessary in their situation. Since custody was being shared on a 55/45 basis, the parties took the difference in their income and calculated child support based on that. This gave a smaller amount of child support from dad to mom. However, since the parents split time more evenly this number did not matter as much.
Full custody? What is it?
Do you have a goal of having full custody of your child? Many parents walk into the Law Office of Bryan Fagan for a free-of-charge consultation and ask for “full custody.” Full custody can mean several different things to you and your family. You may have heard about full custody as a possible goal from friends or family members. We all have that person in our lives who will push us to do things we may not fully understand.
Full custody for many parents means having your child live with you during the school week. For others, it may mean not allowing your co-parent any time with your child. Pushing for full custody makes sense if your co-parent does not play a major role in the life of your child. However, for most parents, the idea of full custody is not realistic. Nor is it in the best interests of your children.
Do you want full custody? Or do you have questions about what full custody even means? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today. Our goal is to help you better understand the circumstances that you have before you in a child custody case. It is not to put you in a position where you are pressured to hire us and file a family law case. Talk to us today and we will provide you with answers to your questions.
Mediation- do you need it?
One of the best parts of a family law case is the ability to attend mediation with your co-parent. Mediation is a process where you and your co-parent hire a third-party mediator to intervene in your case. This intervention occurs at two important points in a child custody or divorce case: temporary orders and final orders. Let’s discuss what these stages are and how mediation can help.
Temporary orders mediation
Let’s talk about temporary order mediation. This occurs toward the beginning of your case. Temporary orders are the marching orders for you and your co-parent during the case itself. You can look at temporary orders as the way that you and your co-parent will learn how to live in separate households and manage custody of your kids. Being able to negotiate temporary orders successfully is a critical aspect of your family law case.
All issues associated with child custody are negotiated in temporary orders mediation. This means that you and your co-parent need to be prepared to sit down and work through the issues important to your case. Coming into mediation without a plan and with no strategy is a recipe for disaster. Your co-parent can see when you are not prepared, and you have not taken seriously the opportunity to settle your case.
Rather you should be very intentional about how you approach the subjects in a child custody mediation for temporary orders. Working with an experienced family law attorney can be the difference between you making decisions and mediation and coming in unprepared. The attorneys with the law office of Brian Fagan are equipped to assist you throughout your case and specifically in temporary orders mediation.
Final orders mediation
once you and your co-parent have negotiated for temporary orders mediation the next step in the process would be to live under those temporary orders. This allows the two of you to determine how well those temporary orders work and what adjustments need to be made during final orders. You must pay close attention to the circumstances of your case and what is working well for your family. Talk to your attorney about what part of the temporary orders need to be changed, if any.
When considering a standard possession order for final orders mediation you need to think about how well it has worked for your family to this point. Sharing custody well and being accountable to one another as parents is what a possession order is all about. The better that you and your co-parent can share custody the better off your child will be. You and your co-parent can be effective just like the parents in our example from earlier period all it takes is having a plan and being mindful of the needs of your children.
Final orders mediation looks a lot like temporary orders mediation. The main difference is that these negotiations relate to you and your co-parent shaping the lives of your children and family for after your case comes to an end. For that reason, it is even more important to be diligent and mindful of all the circumstances ongoing in your case. Take the time to work through the issues in your case so that you can better understand them and prepare for the next few years of your life.
Final thoughts on navigating the standard possession schedule
We have reached the end of our child custody and possession schedule journey. After reading and taking in all this information we hope that it has been helpful for you and your family. There is still a great deal to share that we were not able to discuss today in our blog post. For that reason, contacting the Law Office of Bryan Fagan makes a great deal of sense. We will walk with you and provide you with specific information about your circumstances.
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan is here to help you with whatever your family law needs may be. We serve our clients with a great deal of gratitude and respect each day. When it comes to the world of Texas family law, we have a servant’s heart and a desire to do what is best for our clients.
Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. Interested in learning more about how your family is impacted by the material in this blog post? Contact us today.
Bryan Fagan, a native of Atascocita, Texas, is a dedicated family law attorney inspired by John Grisham’s “The Pelican Brief.” He is the first lawyer in his family, which includes two adopted brothers. Bryan’s commitment to family is personal and professional; he cared for his grandmother with Alzheimer’s while completing his degree and attended the South Texas College of Law at night.
Married with three children, Bryan’s personal experiences enrich his understanding of family dynamics, which is central to his legal practice. He specializes in family law, offering innovative and efficient legal services. A certified member of the College of the State Bar of Texas, Bryan is part of an elite group of legal professionals committed to ongoing education and high-level expertise.
His legal practice covers divorce, custody disputes, property disputes, adoption, paternity, and mediation. Bryan is also experienced in drafting marital property agreements. He leads a team dedicated to complex family law cases and protecting families from false CPS allegations.
Based in Houston, Bryan is active in the Houston Family Law Sector of the Houston Bar Association and various family law groups in Texas. His deep understanding of family values and his professional dedication make him a compassionate advocate for families navigating Texas family law.