When Texas parents do not live together, they might share physical custody of their children, or one might have custody while the other has visitation rights. Visitation rights refer to parents’ rights to time with their children. This may not include the right to have the child live with that parent.
Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with, but there is legal custody as well. The parent with legal custody can make major decisions about the child’s life in areas such as education, health care and religion. It is not unusual for parents to share legal custody.
One common visitation arrangement involves the child spending one weeknight and every other weekend with the noncustodial parent. However, parents may also share physical custody. If this is the case, the children may spend roughly the same amount of time with each parent.
Parents can negotiate their visitation and child custody agreements, or a court may make a decision about who gets primary custody and what the schedule will be. There are advantages to being able to negotiate an arrangement. Parents may be able to come up with more creative solutions that suit them and their children. It also gives them control over the situation. However, divorce can be an emotional time, and parents may struggle to cooperate even with the assistance of their attorneys. If they are unable to reach an agreement, parents might have to go to court. A judge will take a number of things into consideration when making a decision that is in the best interests of the child including the stability offered by each household. In some cases, the child’s wishes might also be taken into consideration.