If you divorce someone you shared children with, and those children are under the age of 18, child custody will be one of the major decisions that you need to make. Since children are not capable of caring for themselves or making legal decisions, they need an adult to be responsible for them.
Child custody is often determined by the parents themselves. The courts know that parents know their families best, so if you can negotiate child custody with your former partner, it can help ensure a smooth divorce. When the court needs to make custody decisions, they take many factors into account, such as parenting abilities, home stability, and more.
No matter what the final custody agreement is, your former partner will stay in your life. By having children together, you tied yourselves together permanently. You will need to collaborate on decisions regarding the children and collaborate on the project of raising happy and healthy adults. Keep in mind that your former partner will always be your child’s parent. In the interest of the children, it’s best to maintain a positive relationship.
Regardless of whether you reach a decision on your own, or with the help of a lawyer, any San Antonio divorce that involves child custody will have a primary custodian and a noncustodial parent. Here’s what those terms mean:
The primary caregiver usually has primary custody. The parent with primary custody is expected to be responsible for the day-to-day care of the children, and the children will primarily live with them. They need to keep the children’s best interests at heart and make daily decisions about them. They also need to keep the noncustodial parent apprised of issues regarding the children, such as updates on their education or health.
The custodial parent is also responsible for maintaining the visitation schedule and monitoring child support payments. However, keep in mind that visitation and child support are not connected – you cannot legally withhold visitation because your former partner is withholding child support. Kids deserve a relationship with both of their parents unless the courts decide otherwise.
The noncustodial parent still has many responsibilities to their child. They should exercise their right to visitation with the children, which could be up to 50% of the time. In most situations, The state of Texas believes that it is almost always in the best interest of a child to have a close relationship with both of their parents. This is why maintaining the visitation schedule is essential.
Noncustodial parents are also typically responsible for making child support payments. Child support ensures that children have the resources they need to thrive. The custodial parent can spend child support on educational expenses, rent, healthcare, extracurriculars, or any other needs of the child.
It can be emotionally difficult to be a noncustodial parent since it can feel like you’re being pushed out of your children’s lives. However, noncustodial parents still have many rights and responsibilities. They are still their child’s parent, that’s why it’s important to keep the relationship strong.
Since you share children, your ex will always be in your life. You will need to raise them together, and someday, you may even share grandchildren. If at all possible, it’s valuable to maintain a friendly relationship with them and keep your children’s best interests at heart.
Determining child custody can be one of the most emotionally difficult parts of a divorce. The decision will determine your child’s future for years. That’s why you need a great lawyer on your side, who can help you determine a custody arrangement that will work for everyone. Work with a lawyer from Zarka Law Firm, and we will help you create an agreement that works for everyone in your family.