Going through a divorce or a breakup is never easy, especially when children are involved. One of the most difficult parts of this process can be coming up with an agreement on child custody and visitation schedules that works for both parents and their children. It's important to find a schedule that works best for you and your family while remembering that ultimately any schedule will likely involve compromise and sacrifice.
How Child Custody Is Determined in Texas
When determining child custody in Texas, courts are primarily focused on what is in the best interests of the child.
They will consider a variety of factors when making their decision including:
- Parenting abilities
- Stability of the home
- Child's physical and emotional needs
- Potential for abuse or neglect from either parent
- Financial resources available to each side
As long as both parents can provide an adequate living situation, then it will likely be determined that joint custody is appropriate. In that case, you and your child's other parent may find it helpful to know how other common custody schedules work.
Alternating Weeks Schedule
The alternating weeks schedule is a common arrangement in which one parent has custody of the child for one week, and the other parent has custody of the child for the following week. This cycle continues indefinitely, so that each parent has equal time with their child. This type of schedule can be beneficial since it allows each parent to spend significant time with their child, forming a strong bond and providing stability for the child. This schedule can also make it easier for parents who live in different locations to maintain an active role in their child's life.
However, this type of custody arrangement can also have drawbacks. One potential issue is that children may feel constantly uprooted as they transition between homes on a weekly basis. They also may have difficulty forming relationships with other family members if they are unable to spend consistent time with them. Additionally, certain activities or commitments such as school or extracurriculars may be difficult to manage if parents are unable to coordinate their visitation times. This schedule may also be difficult to manage if children are very young and dependent on one parent for daily care.
Two Week On, Two Week Off Schedule
The two weeks on, two weeks off custody schedule is like the alternating weeks schedule in that each parent has an equal amount of time with their child. However, instead of switching custody every week, this type of schedule involves the child spending two weeks with one parent before switching to the other parent for another two weeks. This allows the parents and children to have longer stretches of uninterrupted time together.
One benefit of this type of arrangement is that it may be easier for children to adjust to their different environments since they will be staying in a certain home for a longer period of time. This can also provide more stability and consistency for them as they won't have to constantly switch back and forth between homes every week. Additionally, this type of custody schedule may make it easier for both parents to coordinate visitation times with family members or participate in extracurricular activities with their child over a longer period.
However, there are some drawbacks associated with this type of arrangement as well. One potential issue is that it may be difficult for children if they forget something at one home when transitioning to another home since they'll be away from it for up to two weeks. Some parents may object to spending such an extended period away from their children as this schedule requires.
Every Other Weekend Schedule
The every other weekend schedule is a type of custody arrangement in which the child spends every other weekend with one parent. They may also have a midweek visit with that parent as well. This type of schedule can be beneficial for parents who want to still have consistent contact with their children while providing them with some stability and consistency. This schedule allows the children to remain in the same house with the same parent during the school week.
However, there are drawbacks associated with this type of schedule as well. One potential issue is that the parent the children are seeing every other weekend and for brief midweek visits may feel disconnected from their children’s routines, schooling, and social lives and may have to extend additional effort and time to remain involved in those aspects of their children’s lives.
70/30 Custody Schedule
The 70/30 custody schedule is a type of child custody arrangement where the child lives primarily with one parent, typically referred to as the primary custodial parent. This parent will have physical custody of the child for 70 percent of the time, while the other parent will have physical custody for 30 percent of the time. This schedule works out to 4 nights out of every 14 nights spent with the other parent.
This type of schedule can be beneficial in certain situations since it allows one parent to take on more responsibility for raising and caring for the child. It also allows for more continuity and consistency in terms of school, extracurriculars, and family connections. Additionally, it provides stability and routine for both parents and children alike since they know when they can expect to see each other each week. Despite its advantages, this type of arrangement can also have some drawbacks. One potential issue is that the child may feel disconnected from their other parent if they're only seeing them for 30 percent of the time.
Long Distance Parenting Plan
A long-distance parenting plan is designed to help parents who live far apart maintain an active role in their children's lives. This type of arrangement typically involves the child living primarily with one parent, while the other parent has visitation rights on a regular basis. During these visits, parents can spend quality time with their child and keep up with their development and progress. The amount of visitation time will usually depend on the distance between both parents' homes, as well as how frequently the child can travel without disrupting their education and routine. Often a long-distance parenting plan will include provisions for regular FaceTime or Zoom visits between the child and their noncustodial parent.
How Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. Can Help
At Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C., we understand how difficult it can be to come up with a child custody and visitation schedule that works for both parents and their children. We are here to help you create an arrangement that is in the best interests of your family while taking into account all of your individual needs and circumstances.
Our experienced team will work closely with you to develop a customized plan that meets the unique needs of your family. Our attorneys have extensive experience navigating Texas’ laws regarding child custody arrangements so they can provide you with legal advice throughout this process. We strive to make sure you understand all aspects of any proposed agreement before signing anything so you can make informed decisions about what's best for your family moving forward.
Reach out to our office online or call us at (281) 612-5443 to learn more about how we can help you with your child custody arrangements.