The dissolution of a marriage is a difficult time for any two people to undergo, but is made that much more difficult through the inclusion of children of the marriage. When children are brought into divorce proceedings, parties have to be careful of providing for child support and child custody agreements which can only be modified in unique situations. If you are involved in a divorce or child custody proceeding which has the potential to impact your child visitation rights, do not hesitate to contact an experienced family law attorney.
Texas courts in general are largely in favor of joint custody agreements. The term joint conservatorship means that both parents will have the same rights related to the child, as well as the same duties. However, joint custody does not mean that both parents will have the exact same amount of time to be able to spend with the child. There is no feasible way for parents to consistently draw a line down the middle of a child’s weekly hourly schedule. Therefore, the majority of joint custody agreements involve one “possessory conservator,” or the parent who dictates the residence of the child, and the parent who has visitation rights. Both parents maintain their full spectrum of parental rights, although the primary custodian who determines the child’s residence will often have more time with the child than the other parent.
However, the court order for child custody and visitation can be as broad or as specific as the parties want. In broad situations, the parties may agree that one parent may have ongoing access to the child, leading to every other weekend visitation periods, or the ability to pick the child up from school on an ongoing basis. However, the specific child custody agreements are often brought during a particularly hotly contested divorce or suit. In these situations, both parties will often agree to a set child custody schedule which provides for visitation years in advance. For example, the agreement may say that John has access to the children during Christmas 2015, while Jane has access to the children on Christmas 2016. An agreement will often guarantee that both parties receive similar access to the children on important holidays.
It is important to maintain an ongoing relationship with the other parent to ensure that child visitation can continue to occur, especially when situations may arise. If something may happen that impacts your ability to see your child over the weekend, an amicable relationship with the other parent may allow you to switch the schedule slightly as needed. Additionally, in the age of smart phones and Skype connections, parents are able now more than ever to have ongoing virtual visitations with their children every day through FaceTime and other video chats.
Malley Law Firm | Houston Child Visitation Attorney
If you are involved in a heated child custody dispute involving the access of a child to you or the other parent, it is important to ensure that your visitation rights to your child are well protected in any child custody agreement. The signing of a child custody agreement will solidify your relationship to your child as well as the times you will be entitled to visit with the child. Contact our Beaumont or Houston offices today for your initial free consultation.