Most divorced or separated parents in Texas work hard to maintain a positive relationship with the other parent of their child or children. Unfortunately, there are situations in which one parent is no longer acting in good faith and engages in toxic behavior. This behavior can make it difficult for the parents to work together to meet the needs of their children.
Divorced Texas parents might struggle to establish consistent rules for their children as the children move between the parents' two households. However, establishing this consistency is important. It provides stability and structure for children at a time of uncertainty and upheaval. Parents should make an effort to sit down together and talk about how they can make their household rules more consistent. Children who are old enough may want to participate in this process as well. Before this meeting, parents might want to think about what points they are willing to compromise on and which ones they can be more flexible about.
Texas parents who are considering a divorce may be interested to learn that, in about 80 percent of child custody cases, custody of the children is still awarded to the mother. While mothers may be happy about this at first, it can potentially keep mothers trapped in the homemaker role and prevent them from finding a place in the workforce.
Texas parents are entitled to certain rights with respect to their children and have certain obligations. However, there are situations in which a court will terminate parental rights, effectively ending the legal relationship between the child and the parent. This can occur when a parent commits a certain crime or when a father does not claim paternity. Parents are also able to voluntarily terminate or give up their parental rights.
Divorce can be a time of very high emotions and tensions, and for many Texas couples with children, the animosity can extend to custody and support. However, parents do have options for resolving custody issues together, without ending up in a drawn-out, potentially expensive, and often more hurtful courtroom battle.
Texas parents who are no longer in a relationship know that their children remain a connection between them. After negotiating custody and support, parents still need to continue navigating the raising of the children. This includes regular exchanges when children go from the physical custody of a parent to another.
Texas fathers may spend more time with their children and consider parenting more central to their identity than fathers in previous decades, but they are still not spending as much time on child care as mothers. Almost twice as many fathers as mothers say they do not spend enough time with their children. These were among the findings nationwide of a Pew Research Center survey from 2015.
Texas parents who are undocumented or who know someone with an undocumented immigration status may already be aware of some lawyers' volunteer efforts to help immigrants with children. Throughout the country, some attorneys and law students are volunteering to help immigrants without documentation to prepare the documents they need to transfer custody of their children to trusted individuals in the event that they are deported.
Texas parents who are ending their marriage may not be aware that multiple research studies show that children who have both parents in their lives following a divorce have, on average, better lives than those who only have one parent who has sole custody. Even so, census data reveals that U.S. courts award primary physical custody to the mother in approximately 80 percent of the cases. As such, fathers should continue to fight for joint custody.
If Texas parents cannot provide proper care for their children, a family member, such as an older sibling, may attempt to seek custody to keep the children from going into foster care. However, getting custody can be tricky if the children's parents do not want to relinquish custody or if the older sibling is too close in age to the minor child.