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Putting The Needs Of Your Child As The Top Priority

It is in your best interest to work with your spouse to create a parenting plan. This way you are both able to discuss how best to meet the needs of your child. At Law Office of Diane St. Yves, PLLC, in Houston, we recognize that in most cases negotiation is what works best. However, after decades of Texas family law experience, our board-certified firm founder, Diane St. Yves, along with attorney Ashley Coleman and the rest of our firm staff, understands that in some instances, going to court is necessary.

Things That Can Affect Texas Child Custody

Every parent and every child have schedules that are unique. Some of the things on that schedule are negotiable, such as social engagements, and some are not, such as work and school. We work with you to determine how best to create a plan that sticks with the nonnegotiable timelines and also accommodates those things in life that improve our well-being. When it comes to Texas child custody, several variables are taken into consideration, including your child’s:

  • Age
  • Needs and home environment
  • History with each parent, with incidents of abuse or neglect precluding some arrangements
  • Preferences for children over 12, who may have a desire to spend more time with one parent
  • Relationship with each parent

Each parent’s ability to provide for the needs of the child is another relevant factor to consider. A documented history of domestic violence will affect a parenting plan. In the overwhelming majority of divorce cases, it is viewed as being to the child’s advantage to have both parents involved in the child’s life. This does not necessarily mean that child custody will be split 50-50. Instead it means that an arrangement where both parents spend at least 30% of the time with the child is the goal.

While both parents may not spend exactly half of the time with the child, it is expected that both parents will have an equal say on major decisions regarding the children’s welfare. In somewhat rare cases, one parent is granted sole custody (also called sole conservatorship). This typically occurs when a parent has committed family violence; there are addiction, mental health or incarceration issues; or when one parent is otherwise unable to provide for the child in this capacity. The amount of time each parent spends with the child will affect child support payments.

Getting The Schedule That Works

When possible, both parents should try to establish a visitation schedule that fits their individual needs and, more importantly, meets the true needs of the children. If the parents cannot agree on a schedule, the Texas Family Code defaults to a “Standard Possession Schedule.” This setup allows for regular weekend visitation and a couple of hours on one weeknight. The plan includes parenting time on alternating holidays and summer visitation.

We are adept at creating a schedule that meets the needs of the child and accommodates unusual work schedules.

Speak With Us Today About Creating A Parenting Plan

We understand that your family has unique needs. Different careers can demand unusual work hours or travel. Additionally, children may have schedules that need creative planning. We can help. Call and speak with our team: 281-816-4258. You can also reach us via our online contact form. In Houston, we serve family law clients throughout the greater Houston area.