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Could professional success impact custody in a Texas divorce?

Many adults in Texas have to do the difficult job of balancing their personal lives with their professional aspirations. Although some people are able to strike a balance and maintain a family and a successful career, other people find that it is very difficult to do both.

If you are gone for most of the day, or multiple days or weeks at a time because of travel for work, your children and your spouse may not feel like they get to spend enough time with you. The end result can be weakening of your family relationships and eventually divorce.

If you find yourself facing a request for divorce from your ex or you have decided you want to file, you may worry about whether your job will impact your rights to custody as a Texas parent.

The courts want to do what is best for the kids

When the Texas family courts have to determine how to split custody, also known as conservatorship, between parents, they try to do what will make the most sense for the children. For many families, this can mean sharing time with the children and shared custody responsibilities, with parents having a schedule that generally involves the children having a primary residence and the other parent having about 40% of the parenting time.

However, the proportion of time may not be possible if you have an unpredictable work schedule and travel frequently as part of your job. The courts will likely consider your professional obligations when deciding how to split up parental rights, but that doesn't mean you can't share custody. It simply means that the courts will likely give your ex more parenting time than you.

Less parenting time may mean more financial support

If you have your children 40% of the time and your ex has them 60% of the time, the courts will likely order guideline child support. Support will generally be less of the shared time is 50-50, but if the parents' incomes are significantly different, there will likely be support ordered anyway.

In a way, child support allows your children to benefit from your professional success. It can be a tool for you to provide for your loved ones even when you aren't with them.  But, it is a tradeoff for parental involvement.

Be flexible if you want flexibility

Chances are good that you will need to travel with little warning, potentially disrupting plans with your children in the same way that has happened throughout your marriage. You need to be flexible and willing to work with your ex if you hope that they will do the same for you when your career obligations interrupt your family responsibilities.

Trying to maintain a positive relationship with your ex isn't easy, but it can be the simplest way to ensure you continue to spend time with your children, especially if your ex has primary conservatorship of your kids.

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Weinman & Associates, P.C.
8200 North MoPac Expressway
Suite 230
Austin, TX 78759

Phone: 512-472-4040
Fax: 512-472-4086
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