Joint custody is a legal arrangement where parents share responsibility and decision-making for the children. Studies suggest it is highly beneficial for the family. It can promote healthy emotional development, reduce parental conflict, increase communication between parents, and create better relationships all around.
In this article, we explore some of these advantages in detail.
An Overview of Joint Custody Law in Texas
Essentially, joint custody means that both parents have an equal say in important decisions. These decisions include education, healthcare, and overall well-being.
Furthermore, joint custody allows the children to spend roughly equal amounts of time with each adult. This arrangement can help maintain strong relationships with both parents.
Achieving a successful joint custody agreement can be a complex process. It requires careful consideration and planning. Make sure to work closely with an attorney to protect your child’s best interests.
Benefit 1: A Sense of Security
Joint custody can create more balance in the child’s life. It provides a more stable and secure upbringing, and it allows both parents to remain actively involved. Such involvement can range from attending school functions to simply being present when the child needs to talk.
Additionally, joint custody promotes a shared responsibility among parents. This teaches the children that their needs are important to both parents. Receiving such care can result in higher self-confidence and an overall positive attitude toward the family dynamic.
Benefit 2: Improved Trust
Joint requires more communication and coordination, forcing parents to get along and work together. This collaboration can help improve trust between the parents, and it can decrease tension. Divorce often breeds bitter feelings between adults, so anything that alleviates that pain helps everyone in the family.
When both parents have an equal say in schooling and medical needs, children often receive better care.
Benefit 3: Reduced Feelings of Loss or Abandonment
The extra time with each parent often helps children to feel more connected to each one. This can, in turn, reduce the belief that they’ve been abandoned.
Benefit 4: A Stronger Bond
Joint custody allows for continued, meaningful interactions between children and both of their parents. This inevitably fosters solid bonds and creates cherished memories.
Benefit 5: A Diverse Support System
Generally, children benefit from access to a broad network of family members and support systems. Such diverse influences enrich their social connections and interpersonal skills.
Establishing a Joint Custody Arrangement in Texas
First, parents must decide how they will handle custody. They can do so on their own, but this path is not recommended. It is easy to make mistakes and overlook specific details. For best results, work with a mediator who can guide you toward the best arrangements.
After establishing the details, parents must submit their parenting plan to the court. The plan should outline details such as the proposed visitation schedule, decision-making powers, and how the parents will communicate.
Once the plan is submitted, the court reviews it, making sure it is in the child's best interest. If approved, the agreement is established, and it now exists as a court order.
Remember, joint custody allows for equal parenting time, but it is very difficult to achieve an exact, 50/50 split. Each family's situation is unique and requires a customized approach. With an attorney’s guidance and careful consideration, parents can work together to create a parenting plan that benefits everyone.
Making the Transition to Joint Custody
Some proven methods can make the transition smoother and less stressful for the children.
- Allow the kids to have some control and input in the decisions. This can go a long way toward making them feel more comfortable and secure during the transition.
- Maintain a consistent routine for the kids, as much as possible. This means having a reliable schedule for when they go between homes, how long they spend with each parent, and when they have activities and events.
- Parents should communicate frequently and openly with each other and the children about plans, concerns, and important details. However, make sure that you present concerns carefully. You don’t want to descend into bad-mouthing the other parent in front of your children.
If you need help drafting a reasonable, enforceable parenting plan, contact Law Offices Of Mark M. Childress today. You can reach us by phone at (817) 497-8148 or contact us online.