When you and your spouse decide to move forward with divorce, one of your main concerns probably pertains to how you will protect the relationship you have with your children. There is a lot of uncertainty during this time, and you understandably want to shield your parental rights. You also want to give your children the best possible future.
Many Texas parents opt for joint custody arrangements for this reason. This means that you and the other parent will share parenting time and other parenting responsibilities. This requires working together for the benefit of the children, which is worthwhile. There is also evidence that joint custody or “shared” custody (50/50) has helped make many divorced spouses better parents. For parents who choose to agree on “shared” 50/50 custody, several common alternatives of dividing time equally between the parents are commonly used.
Why joint custody or “shared” custody?
When you go into divorce, you may think that you want to fight for full custody and do everything you can to “win” the battle with your soon-to-be ex. While it’s normal to feel this way, this is not always the best approach. In fact, a highly adversarial approach to custody can leave your final divorce order in the hands of a Judge whose actual knowledge of you and your children will be minimal.
To give kids access to both parents and craft an arrangement that suits the needs of the individual family, many parents find it beneficial to set aside their own feelings and pursue joint custody or “shared” custody. After a while, many parents find that this arrangement was beneficial for them in the following ways:
- It gives them a sense of ownership over their own responsibilities for the children, especially when it is their time to have visitation.
- It allows them to make their own decisions and cultivate the relationship they have with their kids without interference from the other parent.
- It provides fathers with the opportunity to be more nurturing and take on more of a caregiver role than they may have exercised prior to the separation.
Dads play an important role in the lives of their children. They can be nurturing, protective and caring, and sharing custody allows them the opportunity to do these while allowing their kids to have healthy relationships with both parents.
Your custody arrangement
Before you agree to the terms of a custody order or make choices that will impact your family for years to come, you may want to think about what will work best long-term. You may also find it helpful to discuss the possibility of joint custody and your goals with an experienced Board-certified expert Family Law attorney in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County or elsewhere throughout Texas, who can help you make smart choices for your future.