Many people considering divorce have the mistaken idea that only one parent gets custody. There was historically a time when the courts preferred to allocate primary custody to one parent and have the other parent stay part of the children’s lives through visitation or a significantly lower amount of parenting time combined with child support.
In modern Texas divorces, however, it has become increasingly common for the courts to order joint custody of the children, which means both parents play a more active role with the kids. Many parents feel frustrated about the prospect of sharing custody with their ex, but research makes it clear that in most cases, shared custody is what’s best for the kids. That is the primary reason that the Texas courts often prefer shared custody solutions.
The courts want to do what’s best for the kids
Parents going through a divorce can often become very focused on themselves, their rights and their desires. While they may be excellent parents, they may not stop to think about how the acrimony between them and their ex could affect the mental and emotional health of their kids.
The Texas family courts prefer to see divorcing parents who work well together and who want to focus on the needs of the kids, not their own vindication in court. Given that shared custody and less fighting can reduce the impact of a divorce on children’s development, that is usually the outcome at the courts want to see.
More parenting time reduces your other obligations to the children
If one parent wants sole custody and the other agrees, the courts may still award primary custody to one parent. However, the parent who doesn’t step up to spend time with their kids will find that this drastically influences their other parental obligations.
Under Texas law, you have an obligation to provide support for your children. The less time you spend with the kids, the greater the financial obligation you likely have. More equally shared custody arrangements reduce contention and acrimony related to child support, which can potentially lead to a more stable co-parenting relationship after divorce.
In the end, everything comes back to what will be best for the kids. If you can make that the most important consideration for you as well, it will likely be easier for you to embrace co-parenting with your ex.