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Making child custody work for all parties in a divorce

Most Texas parents want what's best for their children. However, in a divorce, many couples fight to get what they want - children included - and this leads to a contentious divorce. Parents often unknowingly use children as pawns, causing them anguish and insecurity during this difficult time. There are several ways to approach child custody in order to ensure that the children's best interests are kept in mind.

Joint legal custody is typically given to both parents unless there are special circumstances, such as domestic violence and parental indifference. Joint custody involves legal and physical custody. This means both parents have a say in how the child should be raised.

The courts strive to put children in the best situation possible - where both parents can be involved - but that's not always possible. When one parent travels frequently for business, he or she can find it difficult to be a part of the child's life on a regular basis. The parent either has to change jobs or accept the fact that he or she cannot have joint custody.

Divorce does not always have to be acrimonious. Parents are setting an excellent example by being cordial to each other during divorce. When children see their parents doing nothing but arguing and fighting, it can take its emotional toll. The goal for both parents should be to see their children become as emotionally stable as possible. Children reap many benefits when their parents work together, and it's always good to minimize the possibility of a custody dispute.

Couples with children who are going through a divorce need to ensure they maintain their legal rights. Child custody and child support are two main issues that should be fully explored. Even if a parent is not granted joint custody, he or she still has visitation rights. There may be other responsibilities and rights, as well. Couples may wish to seek legal help to determine what is involved.


Source: 
American News Report, "How to Handle Child Custody in a Divorce" No author given, Oct. 08, 2013

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