When making child custody decisions, parents or the judge consider what is best for the child. In many instances, this means joint custody.
Although joint custody is usually better for the child, it can be challenging for parents to figure out how to make it work. However, there are certain tips and advice you can follow to ensure the situation works effectively.
According to the Texas State Law Library, the state law treats both father and mother the same and, unless evidence proves otherwise, generally presumes that the parents will be joint managing conservators, also known as joint legal custody. Although there is no guarantee, many parents will also have joint physical custody, which does not necessarily mean that the time spent with the child is 50/50.
Rights of co-parents
When parents are joint conservators, each has certain legal rights, such as the right to:
- Obtain from the other parent information pertaining to the child’s education, health and general welfare
- Access the child’s dental, medical and psychological records
- Have designation of emergency contact on all child’s records
- Discuss with other parent before either of you make a major decision regarding the child
- Attend extracurricular and school activities
Along with respecting each other’s rights in regard to caring for the child, there are other things parents can do to make co-parenting easier. Family Education discusses that living in closer proximity to your ex-spouse makes it more convenient for switching or dropping something off your child forgot.
When it comes to making a parenting schedule, for kids who are in school, oftentimes it helps if one parent has the child Monday through Thursday and the other Friday thru Sunday. When it comes to the switch day, the parent who currently has the child should drop him or her off rather than have the other parent pick the child up.
Even if you do not get along with your ex, maintain a united front while in the presence of your child and do not talk bad about your ex in front of your kid. It also helps to review the custody schedule as your child grows and develops.