In some situations, divorcing parties may feel like they want to run in opposite directions forever and never look back. However, when children are involved, this is not a feasible plan. Child custody arrangements can be some of the most contested and complex aspects of a divorce in Texas or elsewhere.
One experienced family court judge warns that in several cases he has witnessed heartache and wasted funds expended as a result of confusion surrounding custody arrangements.
The judge does say that in situations where the other parent is unstable, abusive or chemically dependent, sole custody is usually the most appropriate option. Sole custody means that the custodial parent has the right to call all of the shots surrounding schooling, medical care, religion and other major decisions. The non-custodial parent would not have access to records regarding their child.
However, the judge cautions that in several situations where one parent seeks sole custody, they are unaware of what they are getting into. The judge cautions that when anger fuels the decision to fight for sole custody, the child looses out on maximum contact with two parents. In the process of getting back at their ex, the parent could be damaging their child.
The judge calls parents to remember that there are hybrids of sole and joint custody. Parenting orders can be tailored to the child's needs and the requirements of both parties'. Ultimately, the decision needs to come down to the best interest of the child. Texas couples that are seeking a divorce and a resolution surrounding custody of their children would do well to contact legal counsel experienced in Texas family law matters.
Source: The Huffington Post, "How To Divorce: How Can I Get Full Custody Of The Kids?" Michele F. Lowrance, May 1, 2012