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Child Custody Archives

How co-parenting can change in the teen years

Even for estranged Texas couples who have successfully co-parented for years after a divorce, new challenges may come along once their children are teenagers. It is important that parents do not relax their communication with one another or with their child at this time even as their teen becomes more mature and takes on more responsibilities.

Making a plan for summer co-parenting

Parents in Texas who decide to divorce can face some unique challenges in the summer as they develop their co-parenting relationship. The busy schedule of school and extracurricular activities can help to keep kids' lives relatively consistent, even as they move back and forth between their parents' homes. However, while summertime can be a period for additional fun and adventure, it can also be a period of changes for parents and their children. There are some things that divorced parents can keep in mind to help their summers remain positive and enjoyable experiences for the kids.

Co-parenting with teens

Parenting a teen can be challenging under any circumstances. However, Texas parents who are divorced may have to adapt to a number of changes. As teens are testing their new independence, exes who have been co-parenting for a long time may feel that they can finally ease up, but this is not the time for too much freedom. Failing to communicate effectively is one of the mistakes divorced parents make when co-parenting teens.

The various rights given to divorced parents

Most Texas parents who are divorced still have rights to their children. In some cases, one parent will be given sole legal or physical possession while the other is given access rights. However, it's also possible that parents will share possession in an effort to protect the child's best interests. Legal possession allows a parent to make important decisions, such as what religion a son or daughter is exposed to.

Unwed parents and child custody laws

Roughly 40 percent of children born in Texas and throughout America are born to parents who are not married. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a child's father to not appear on a birth certificate. However, this can raise questions as to who has custody of the child and what steps each parent needs to take to formally obtain custody or visitation rights. In some states, an unwed mother will need to file for custody of a son or daughter.

Joint custody becoming more common

In previous years and decades, it wasn't uncommon for mothers to get full custody of their children after a divorce. However, there has been a shift toward shared parenting after a marriage comes to an end. Generally speaking, the courts now assume that parents should have joint legal custody of children.

Requesting child custody modification

Child custody arrangements between Texas parents living apart aren't meant to be set in stone due to the possibility of unforeseen circumstances. When this happens, parents are generally advised to make an attempt to come up with mutually acceptable adjustments. Should a court get involved, however, they are likely to consider what's in the best interest of the child when making a decision.

Custody disputes can harm children

Helicopter parenting can be a side effect of custody disputes in Texas and throughout the country. This can occur because courts tend to take into account how involved a parent is in a child's life when making a custody determination. Therefore, parents have an incentive to micromanage a child's schedule or how closely they oversee their child's activities. When children are treated in this manner, they tend to become anxious and lose the ability to learn coping skills.

Preparing for a child custody hearing

Texas parents who are going through a divorce might have to go to court if they cannot come to an agreement about custody and visitation, also known as "possession" and "access." Before going to court, a parent must send a written submission to the judge that explains their position and what they're asking for. The parent should also include copies of any documentation that will be presented in court so the judge will have the opportunity to review it beforehand.