Children across Houston are getting ready for the new school year. It can be an exciting time, but parents who are divorced may face challenges that married parents do not. Coordinating who will take on what responsibilities with regards to a child's education takes careful thought and planning on the part of divorced parents. However, with some cooperation, divorced parents can make the 2018-2019 school year a positive one for their child.
Our ability to communicate with one another has come a long way over the past few decades. While it used to be that writing a letter or making a phone call through a landline were the primary ways to communicate with someone who was not in your presence, in the age of the Internet there are a wide variety of ways to communicate with someone electronically. This can be of great benefit to parents in Texas who are divorced and wish to be able to communicate with their child when it is not their allotted face-to-face visitation time as dictated by their child custody arrangement.
It may seem that as soon as the Fourth of July is over, stores in Texas and nationwide gear up for back to school time. For parents who are divorced, preparing for their child to head back to the classroom involves more than purchasing some pencils, backpack, and new shoes. It means that they should, well before the school year starts, review their possession order (child custody order) to ensure that it is still feasible and meets the needs of all involved.
When parents in Texas are getting a divorce, despite the rancor they may have with one another, they may both be concerned with how the divorce will affect their child. In Texas, when it comes to child custody and visitation (also referred to as conservatorship and possession), all decisions will be made based on the best interests of the child. Sometimes this means that a child can benefit if his or her parents are able to work out their conservatorship and possession issues through out-of-court negotiations.
Parents, even if they are divorced, usually want to play an active role in raising their child. They want to know what is going on in their child's life, and have the ability to make decisions that are in the child's best interests. In fact, per Texas Family Code § 153.073, the parent or parents who have conservatorship (child custody) over the child has certain legal rights that must be upheld.
Because parents in Texas love their children so much, when they divorce it can be very difficult to reconcile with the fact that there will be times when their child is in the care of their ex, not them. If the divorce is very bitter, this can be a difficult pill to swallow. Sometimes out of heightened emotions, parents continue to fight throughout the divorce process, which can harm the child who may feel caught in the middle. Therefore, it is important for parents to be able to set aside their emotions for the time being, and try to communicate their needs and desires in a civil manner with each other.
Fathers in Texas love their children. So, should they divorce or break-up with their child's mother, they may be concerned about how much time they will be able to spend with their child. In the past, it was presumed that a child's mother was the parent best-fit to raise the child. Therefore, the child's mother often got legal custody of the child (referred to as "conservatorship" in Texas) and physical custody of the child (referred to as "possession" in Texas). The father would only be awarded visitation with the child (referred to as "access" in Texas). However, times have changed, and it is now recognized that fathers play just as important a role as mothers when it comes to raising their child.
Child custody issues can be contentious, and disagreements between parents can continue well after the divorce decree is signed. Sometimes these disagreements are relatively minor, such as disagreeing on a child's bedtime. However, it is an unfortunate reality that sometimes, out of anger, spite or ill-will, some parents in Texas will try to interfere with their ex's custody or visitation rights.
May is in full swing and that means that for children in Texas, summer break is right around the corner. For children, summer is a time for sleeping in, going to the local pool or beach or taking a vacation. When married parents in Texas have a child, making summer plans is relatively easy. However, if a child's parents are divorced, they must follow a possession schedule that may differ from the one followed during the school year.
Divorce is not only more common place these days than it was 50 years ago, but the stigma is also changing. Many people in Texas are coming to the understanding that it is not necessary to spend the rest of one's life in an unhappy marriage, even if the couple has children. In fact, recent research indicates that divorce is having an impact on the number of single parents raising children in the United States.