Tekell & Tekell, L.L.P.
254-523-4624

The new trends in child custody

Texas parents facing divorce may have many reasons for concern about their futures and the well-being of their children. Aside from the stress of dividing assets and debts, there is the overwhelming and emotional task of determining the most advantageous custody arrangement for the children.

In the past, custody was often decided by the courts using a formula based on faulty assumptions about the roles of parents in a child's life. If your parents divorced when you were young and you have unpleasant memories of your own childhood custody schedule, you may want to avoid the same confusion for your children.

Thinking outside the box

Until recently, custody meant living with one parent, usually your mother, and visiting the other. Another common scenario was bouncing from house to house by day or by week. You may remember going to school in a panic because you couldn't remember at which parent's house you left your school books or gym shoes. While some of that confusion is unavoidable, particularly in the first months or years after a divorce, the concept of custody is changing.

These days, custody arrangements are much more flexible and open to the reality that children need as much access to both parents as possible. Some alternatives to traditional custody arrangements you may wish to consider include the following:

  • You and your spouse continue to live in the same house, sharing meals and family time, with separate bedrooms.
  • Your children remain in the home, and you and your spouse take turns living there.
  • You and your spouse find separate homes within a short distance from each other.

Even the language related to child custody is changing as some states use terminology such as co-parenting, shared parenting, parental access and parenting time. In this way, family courts are showing their willingness to view parenting after divorce in a more cooperative light instead of creating a situation where parents compete for their children.

You and your spouse may have a unique idea for sharing your parenting duties in a supportive and stress-free manner. The most important factor is providing a balance of time for each parent with as much family time as possible. There may be no perfect solution, especially if you and your spouse expect to move on with your lives and perhaps even remarry. However, your efforts at finding the most beneficial custody arrangement may go a long way in the eyes of your children.

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Roosevelt Building
400 Austin Avenue
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Waco, TX 76701

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