We've all heard the analogy about how people are like snowflakes: no two are exactly alike. While we know from experience that there isn't another person out there who is exactly like you or me, the same can also apply to families. Yes, many of our families look similar in terms of the number of persons in the family, activities, educational levels where we live, the restaurants where we eat, and things of that nature. However, we also know that I have circumstances in my family that are not the same as yours, and the same can be said for you and your neighbors. We are all different and have different issues impacting our lives.
With that said, it is important to note that if your family is going through a divorce or child custody case in Texas that you have options before you as far as how you structure custody arrangements and visitation schedules. I tell parents that custody is a pretty broad word that encompasses many different areas of family law. While a divorce encompasses more than just child custody, child custody matters indeed pertain to two families equally, no matter if the parents of a child are married or not. We need to be aware of the different areas of a child custody case, even if you are going through a divorce.
In today's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, I would like to take this opportunity to share some ideas regarding how determining and negotiating over different custody arrangements will ultimately turn out best for you and your family to going before a family court judge. What you really are seeking in a divorce or child custody case are options. We want options to build a post-divorce or post child custody case life for our family that suits your needs the best. With that said, we cannot underestimate just how critical it is two your family's future for you to have a hand indirect say in how that feature is determined.
Rather than assume that a family court judge is the only person who is equipped to come up with solutions to your problems, I would recommend that you begin to creatively problem-solve with your spouse or significant other on how to address the wide range of issues that come up in a child custody case. Doing so will help you so to the negotiation process and help you achieve creatively in functional solutions to the problems that impact you and your family daily.
Finding a custody plan that works for you regarding conservatorship
The funny thing about the word custody is that it doesn't even appear in the family code even one time. A more accurate term to be used regarding child custody is that of conservatorships. A conservatorship is simply any arrangement where one person has a legal duty to care for another and has the right to make decisions on behalf of that person. In the law, we see this occur most frequently when it comes to parents and children and adults having a conservatorship over another adult who may be mentally or physically incapacitated.
While many people in divorce or child custody cases stress out the most regarding Visitation in possession opportunities with their family, I think it is wise to focus on conservatorships' issues just as much, if not more so. The reason for this is that your ability to make decisions on behalf of your child and the duties you have regarding caring for your child is just as important to their long-term future. Perhaps many of these rights and duties are less immediate in importance in your mind, at least, one compared to issues regarding Visitation and possession. Still, I can tell you that there is really no limit to how your conservatorship's rights and duties can impact your child many years into the future.
Being able to balance the rights to make decisions on behalf of your child regarding their health and education is probably the most important for many of the families reading this blog post, such as your own. In an era where we're trying to acclimate ourselves to the beginnings of the coronavirus, many parents, maybe even yourself, have questions about how educational standards will be upheld despite the pressing need to educate our children online or remotely. Whatever your opinions are on how education is handled in the early stages of this pandemic, we must understand that we will have to take control of our children's lives, or else we risk other people doing that for us.
You and your spouse can discuss how to hand over decision-making processes or along with your child's education. Typically, in a divorce or child custody case, parents will share decision-making responsibilities regarding their children's education. This is common in what is known as a joint managing conservatorship where on the whole, you and your opposing parent will end up sharing most of the rights and duties of your children. This falls in line with Texas's state is the motivation to ensure that both parents play an inactive involved role in the upbringing of their children.
However, if the specific circumstances of your case lead you to believe that this is not in the child's best interest, then you and your opposing parents should discuss your options and make specific choices in your final orders that reflect the better position of one parent to make decisions in regards to education, health, and all the other issues that impact your child's life. I can think of examples where Your spouse has a job where he or she cannot participate in many of the day-to-day decisions that impact your child on a health and educational level. If you all believe that you should have the final say-so over day-to-day matters regarding every child's health and wellness, then that may need to be included in your final decree of divorce.
Remember that issues regarding conservatorships get to the core of your ability to parent your children. In an era where we have seen people lose the ability to make decisions for themselves and their families, I would be cautious if I were you to be comfortable with the idea of going before a family court judge unless it proves to be necessary. Rather, I would work with your spouse if I were you to create personalized plans for your family on how to handle matters related to the sharing of rights and duties and raising your children together as co-parents.
Creating visitation in position schedules that work best for you and your family
The other part of child custody cases frequently the most debated upon is about Visitation and possession. Visitation in possession is two family law words that basically equate to being able to spend time with your children during the year. Whereas before, when you and your child's other parent lived in the same home, there was no need to divide up your child's time between the two of you. Now we are in a situation where there are two parents and two households in one child set. Any of us can do the simple math there that 1 / 2 means that you and your proposing parent will need to divide time up between the two of you know in a fashion that works best for you and your family.
I have already used the term joint managing conservator once in today's blog post. A joint managing conservatorship essentially means that you and your child's other parent will share rights, duties, and time with your child in some proportion. The art of a child custody or divorce case comes in needing to figure out how to divide up time between your families in a way that works best for your children and one another. It is unlikely that you will be awarded sole custody of your child unless alcohol, drugs, abuse, or neglect are in play. Let's assume that your family is 1 where none of these issues apply, and therefore you and your child's other parent will be dividing up time between your kids with one another in a fairly even fashion.
At the top, I would look at how you and your child's other parent should divide up a week during the school year with your kids. If you can get past this subject, you will likely be able to tackle other subjects head-on when it comes to time. For the most part, families in joint managing conservatorships have one parent named a primary conservator of the kids and the other as a possessory Conservatory. A primary conservator has two rights specific to him or her that the other parent does not. Namely, those rights are the right two received child support for the child's benefit and the right to determine the child's primary residence. Basically, if you are named the primary conservator child, you would be able to receive child support from the other parent and have your child live with you primarily.
The other parent would then have visitation rights to your child, which means that he or she would be able to have certain periods of possession in your final orders from the court that allow him or her to spend time with your child during the year. How a possession schedule is created and how you all take advantage of your time with your children is completely up to you and the other parent. Family law attorneys and their clients can become very creative when figuring out novel and unique ways to divide time with children.
Based on your children's age, you can decide whether or not long stretches of Visitation with each parent is better for everyone involved. For example, when it comes to older children in high school, have their own transportation and are busier with jobs and extracurricular activities, it may not be as needed for that child to see each parent daily. Therefore, week on, a week off periods of possession that alternate between parents may work best for families in this type of situation.
On the other hand, we can also see that parents of younger children may believe that their children would benefit from seeing both parents every week. From my own experience, being a parent of young kids, I know that they will benefit from seeing my wife and me frequently. Therefore, you and your child's other parent could be able to work out schedules where four days of one week you have your kids in the other three days go to the other parent. Then, the following week those roles would reverse. There are also more traditional ways to divide up time for joint managing conservators, including a standard possession order. A standard possession order has the possessory conservator possessing the kids on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of each month and a Knight each week for dinner during the school week. Holidays would alternate. Their position designations and the possessory conservator over your children would also have a month-long stretch of time to possess the kids during the summer months.
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 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. Thank you for your interest in our law office, and we hope you will join us again on our blog tomorrow.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- 12 Texas Custody & Conservatorship Battle Tips
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Have Joint Custody of My Child in Texas?
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- Are Dads at a Disadvantage when trying to win 50/50 custody in a Texas Divorce?
- Sole Managing Conservator in a Child Custody Case in Texas?
- Help!! My Ex-Spouse Kidnapped my Child
- How Much Will My Texas Child Custody Case Cost?
- When Can a Minor Child Weigh in on Custody Decisions in Texas?”
- Child Custody Geographic Restrictions in Texas
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Child Custody Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding child custody, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX child custody lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our child custody lawyers in Houston, TX, are 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 child custody cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, 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.