joint custody

Joint Custody After Divorce


The state of Texas will always look after the welfare of the children in a divorce. The state will also acknowledge the responsibility of each parent even after their marriage is dissolved.

While the normal route for divorce is that there would be one custodial parent, the state also supports the idea of joint custody. 

Sharing Custody of the Child

There are many instances where the court will grant sole custody. That means the children will spend the majority of their time with one parent, and also that parent will be exclusively the one who will make the major decisions that affect the children. 

Texas actually wants to encourage joint custody, since that will give more chances for each parent can nurture a meaningful relationship with the children. Joint legal custody will allow both parents to participate in decision making. 

They will also share the legal custody rights. This will also mean that the children actually have two legal homes—even if there will still be a designated custodial parent who will get possession of the child. 

Possession is the term used in the Family Code and also in the Final Decree of Divorce. It is possible that a parent can have only legal custody but not possession. In this case, they would not physically have their child in their home, but they are part of the decision making. This may not be satisfactory for most parents since they are seeking the physical company of their children. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Joint Custody

When a couple divorces, the child will be subject to many changes. Most counselors would advise parents to keep as many factors constant as possible—the child’s school and activities should still continue if they can help it. This is why it would be advantageous to have consistent contact with both parents. 

The relationship of the children with their parents, even if they are now separate, can still help the child’s welfare. 

However, there are also real downsides in joint custody. When a couple divorces, there is a big possibility that there has been animosity during the proceedings. This may result in some awkward moments or even tension in some discussions. The ex-spouses just spent much time and money to separate from each other and divide their property. They might not be ready to share important tasks like raising children.

Unlike property division which will be settled and disputed during the proceedings, the parents have to deal with their children after the divorce, but this is a price they should pay, as this is a consequence of their divorce. 

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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