If you'll be sharing custody of your children with your co-parent, you likely want every additional opportunity to spend time with them that you can get -- especially if you're going to be the noncustodial parent. If so, or even if you just want to minimize the amount of time your kids spend with other caregivers, you should consider seeking a "right of first refusal" provision in your custody agreement.
Not all co-parents' battles involve yelling, swearing, insults and turning the kids against their other parent. Passive-aggressive behavior, however, can be just as damaging to the co-parenting relationship -- and ultimately to your kids -- as regular fighting.
In a divorce, the most important thing is the well-being of your kids. You love them more than anything in the world, and all you want is a fair custody settlement. But how can you make sure that a judge will see it that way?
Nothing can test divorced parents' resolve to push their differences to the back burner and focus on what's best for their kids like the holidays. It's best if you've included details for the holidays in your custody agreement and parenting plan. This gives you a framework for how your children will divide their time. However, it's always helpful when both parents can be a bit flexible.
As you and your soon-to-be ex negotiate — or perhaps battle — over how to share custody of your children, you're probably focused primarily on physical custody. However, you also need to determine who will have legal custody over the children.
You're battling your co-parent for sole custody of your children. You may even believe that any visitation they have with the kids needs to be supervised. Your co-parent has a drug and/or alcohol problem that you believe makes them incapable of safely and responsibly caring for the children -- even for short periods. Your co-parent is fighting you on this. They want shared custody or perhaps unrestricted visitation. Therefore, it looks like you'll need to take the matter before a judge to decide.
A typical custody battle involves two parents fighting over how to divide their child's time and where to raise the child. However, in many cases, the parents are simply not the best option for meeting the child's needs. Instead, it is sometimes wise for grandparents to step up to the plate and seek legal custody of the child. In Texas, grandparents may seek custody, but only if the circumstances and the grandparents themselves meet a number of qualifications.
When approaching divorce as a parent, it is not always easy to balance your own needs and priorities with those of your child. This is perfectly understandable, but does not work in your favor when it comes time for a court to approve a custody agreement or issue a custody order. As far courts are concerned, the best interests of the child must dictate the distribution of custody privileges and responsibilities.
Once your divorce finalizes and you and your child's other parent begin working through the process of actually raising your child separately, you may find that your custody arrangement simply doesn't work with your needs or circumstances. In some cases, this is due to poor foresight while crafting your custody agreement, whereas in other cases, a parent's income or health may change significantly, making it infeasible to abide by the existing arrangement .
Parents who divorce face a number of very difficult choices, chief among them the choice between working together to create a parenting plan that meets their child's needs or forfeiting that responsibility to the court. To hear many divorcees discuss the process, one might think that a court steps in and harshly decides how parents raise their children, but in most cases this does not occur.