Divorce can have a huge impact on Texas families. Even in situations where it was clearly the best possible way of managing family conflict, emotions run high. One area that is often a cause of conflict is parental visitation rights.
Despite media portrayals of parents locked in long-term court battles, in many cases, parents are expected to attempt to work out visitation schedules on their own. The assumption here is that both parents are willing to prioritize the best interest of the child and are willing to establish a fair and equitable parenting plan.
A parent-facilitated visitation schedule is often preferable to one that has been ordered by the court because it is more likely to accommodate the needs of both parents as well as their children. A court-ordered schedule may be inflexible and present problems when emergencies come up or there has been a change in after school activities or a parent's work commitments.
Still, parents may need to turn to the courts to establish a schedule if their divorce is particularly contentious and it becomes obvious that the parents will not be able to come to an agreement on their own. Some judges may also feel that a fixed visitation schedule is in the best interest of a child or children who may benefit from an established routine.
Custody disputes can be an especially difficult part of divorce proceedings. Parents should realize, however, that if they make them into battles, the real loser could be the child. Family law attorneys will advise their clients to keep their children's best interest in mind when seeking a resolution.