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Will I Be Able to Share Joint Custody of My Child After My Divorce?

 Posted on August 14, 2023 in Divorce

Galveston Child Custody LawyerDivorce is rarely a simple process, and it can become especially complex when children are involved. Many of the key decisions that divorcing parents must make will be related to child custody arrangements. In Texas, family courts encourage shared parenting and believe that it is in the best interest of the child to have both parents actively involved in their lives. Most of the time, parents will be able to share custody. To ensure that issues related to your children will be addressed correctly during your divorce, you will need to understand how Texas laws address “joint managing conservatorship.”

Texas Laws on Child Custody

When addressing issues related to child custody during a divorce, Texas follows the "best interests of the child" standard. This means that any decisions made by the court regarding child custody must prioritize what is best for the child's well-being.

Texas recognizes two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody, which is also known as conservatorship, refers to a parent's right to make important decisions about their child's life, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Physical custody pertains to where the child primarily resides and when they will live with or spend in the care of each parent.

Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody

In most cases, Texas courts prefer joint legal custody, which is referred to as joint managing conservatorship, unless there are extenuating circumstances showing that this would not be in the best interest of the child. Joint legal custody allows both parents to have an equal say in major decisions affecting their children's lives.

There are some situations where sole legal custody may be appropriate, and in these cases, one parent will have the sole responsibility to make decisions regarding child-related issues. However, the other parent will usually be able to spend time with the child on a regular basis, unless there is evidence showing that this would place the child at risk of physical or emotional harm. A parent who does not have legal custody of their child will still have certain rights and responsibilities during any times the child is in their care, including the right to make decisions about emergency medical care and the responsibility to provide the necessary food, clothing, and shelter.

Sharing Physical Custody

In addition to legal custody, Texas law also encourages parents to share physical custody of their children, ensuring that children will be able to spend time with both parents regularly and build strong, lasting relationships. When determining how physical custody will be divided between parents, the court may take various factors into consideration, such as:

  • The child's age

  • The child's preference (if they are old enough to express it)

  • The parents' ability to cooperate and make joint decisions

  • The geographical proximity of the parents' residences

  • Each parent's work schedule and availability

  • The child's adjustment to their current living arrangements

How Can I Increase My Chances of Obtaining Joint Custody?

If you believe that joint custody would be in your children's best interest, there are steps you can take to ensure that this type of arrangement will be put in place:

  • Focus on co-parenting

    Show a willingness to work cooperatively with your ex-spouse for the benefit of your children. This includes sharing responsibility for decision-making and fostering open communication.

  • Create a stable environment

    Demonstrate that you can provide a safe, nurturing home environment for your children. This may involve maintaining consistent routines, ensuring that children’s physical and emotional needs are met, and encouraging healthy relationships.

  • Show involvement

    Actively participate in your children's lives by attending school events, extracurricular activities, and medical appointments whenever possible. Your level of involvement will demonstrate to the court how committed you are to being an engaged parent.

  • Maintain documentation

    Keep records of all interactions with your ex-spouse regarding your children. This can include emails, text messages, phone logs, agreed visitation schedules, or any other communications that may be relevant during custody proceedings. You can demonstrate the agreements you have made with your spouse regarding your children and show your willingness to maintain communication and cooperate to provide for your children’s best interests.

Contact Our Galveston Child Custody Lawyer

If you are considering divorce and have concerns about sharing joint custody of your children, it is essential to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the legal process. At Daniel R. Bacalis, P.C., our Galveston County child custody attorney can help you address these issues correctly, and we will work with you to find solutions that will allow you to provide for your children’s needs in the years to come. Contact us at 409-392-1511 to schedule a free consultation today.

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