Deciding how to split up time with kids between parents is possibly the most difficult aspect of a family law case. Our family law attorney at Guest and Gray Law Firm in Forney can help you with your Rockwall County custody or visitation issue.
First, there is the obvious issue of who has “custody” of the kids. All this really means is who gets to decide where the primary residence of the kids is. But once that determination is made, a possession schedule must be decided upon for the “non-custodial” parent.
The most common possession schedule is the standard possession order whereby the non-custodial parent has the kids on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends of each month, two hours each Thursday night, and certain times on holidays and in the summer. Of course, parents can agree to almost any possession schedule they would like. Some parents do week on-week off. Others do an expanded standard schedule where the non-custodial parent has the kids on their weekends from the time they get out of school on Thursday until the time school resumes the following Monday.
But the possession schedule for infants and toddlers can much more difficult to determine. There is no standard schedule for children under three in the Texas Family Code. Instead, the law provides some factors to consider in order when determining the most appropriate possession schedule. This gives court’s great deference to decide what is best for the child if the decision is left to the court. But it also gives parents a lot of options when trying to work out a schedule that works for them.
A few of the factors a court is to consider when deciding on a possession schedule for a child under three are as follows:
- Who has provided caregiving to the child before and during the suit
- The effect that separation from either party may have on the child
- Availability and willingness of the parties to personally care for the child
- The physical, medical, behavioral and developmental needs of the child
- The physical, medical, behavioral, economic and social conditions of the parties
- The presence of siblings during periods of possession
- The child developing an attachment to both parents
- The need for continuity and routine
- The distance between the parties’ homes
Possession schedules for children under three often work incrementally towards a standard possession order being put in place when the child turns three. In other words, maybe the child spends most of the time with the primary caregiver early on, but as they get older, they gradually spend more and more time with the other parent until they turn three when the standard possession schedule goes into effect.
If you have questions about what possession schedule would be right for your children, come meet with one of Guest and Gray Law Firm’s Rockwall county family lawyers in a free initial consultation to discuss the options available to you and what might work best.
Call Rockwall, Texas Family Lawyers at (972)564-4644 about your Rockwall County Child Custody or Visitation issue.