Determining child custody is widely considered to be a sensitive matter across the U.S. Not only do spouses go through a tense divorce process, but they also need to consider the best interests of the children if they are to forge meaningful relationships with their peers. As a spouse finalizing a divorce case, you might want to approach such matters with a calm mind, rather than rushing into making hasty decisions with severe consequences. In most circumstances, spouses tend to make sound decisions regarding child custody with the aid of an experienced attorney. This entails preparing parenting plans with the sole intention of safeguarding the needs of the children.
In most situations, mothers tend to retain sole custody of the children until attainment of legal age. Such a precedent is mainly enforced due to the mother's capacity to provide unconditional love and care for the kids. However, such a precedent can be overruled when the mother has been deemed unfit to raise the children either due to a criminal record or mental incapacity. A child custody agreement essentially stipulates custody and visitation rights applicable to either spouse. As a divorcing spouse, keep in mind that parenting agreements vary from case to case and mainly touch on:
- Physical custody: Where the child will reside and stipulated changes regarding relocation.
- Visitation schedules.
- Parties responsible for making major decisions regarding the child's welfare and upbringing.
- Resolution of child custody issues that might arise during the process.
- The children's relationship with their extended family.
Despite acting as the most common guidelines, spouses can tweak them to meet their kids' specific needs. Once prepared, the parenting agreement must be submitted to a judge for approval. In exceptional circumstances, both parents can be awarded joint custody when both parties play an active role in the upbringing of the child. In a nutshell, both spouses share the right to make crucial decisions regarding the child's welfare.
Contrary to public opinion, determining child custody is much easier when both parents have been informed of the relevant guidelines to comply with. In most states, a parenting agreement acts as binding court order with legal consequences when breached.
Are you seeking child custody from a divorcing spouse? Don't hesitate to contact an experienced attorney in Texas for legal representation.