When a couple with children breaks up, they may disagree over the child custody arrangements. Each parent may have different ideas of what would be in the child’s best interest. In many cases, if both parents are physically, mentally, and financially capable of caring for the child and willing to do so, Texas courts will grant joint custody to ensure that both parents stay involved in the child’s life. Parents in a joint custody situation will share physical custody of the child as well as legal custody.
Joint physical custody
Joint physical custody essentially means that each parent will get a certain amount of time with the child each year. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean that the parents will share custody 50-50. Some examples of joint physical custody may include:
- Child lives with one parent on weekdays and weekends with the other.
- Child lives with one parent for one week, the other parent the next week, and so on.
- Child lives with one parent three days a week and the other parent.
Legal custody refers to the power to make decisions on behalf of the child. Some of these decisions may relate to:
- Extra-curricular activities
While it may seem straightforward, many couples find themselves arguing for various reasons, both before and after the child custody order is finalized by the judge. Here are some of the most common challenges exes face while co-parenting.
- One parent wants to relocate. (Note: Relocation of more than a short distance typically requires a modification of the custody order)
- There is domestic violence or child abuse/neglect in one or both homes.
- There are difficulties with scheduling (e.g. failing to pickup/drop off the child as planned).
- Parents disagree on how to raise the child.
A family law attorney can help you navigate these challenges and come up with an arrangement that best benefits your child and your family.