Sharing custody is a challenge, but it is a necessity for millions of parents who divorce or choose to live separately before their children become adults. Shared custody scenarios are often rife with conflict between the parents, and children, especially teenagers, may use that conflict to their advantage to get out of consequences and responsibilities. They may also struggle more emotionally when there is noticeable conflict between their parents.
Parents may struggle with having limited time with their children and also with needing to maintain an ongoing relationship with their former romantic partner. Those who let their emotions determine their behavior could end up violating state law and negatively affecting their own custody rights. What does Texas require of parents who share custody?
1. They Must Abide By Their Parenting Plan
The custody order or parenting plan approved by the Texas family courts determines everything from how the parents make decisions about the children to how much time they spend with the kids. Both parents will need to do their best to abide by the parenting plan to the best of their ability.
2. They Must Communicate And Cooperate With One Another
Texas law outlining the responsibility of those subject to a parenting plan includes requirements that parents share honest information with one another about their children and cooperate when it comes to making major decisions. Ideally, parents can put aside their personal differences when communicating about their children to focus on supporting them into healthy and productive adulthoods.
3. They Must Provide For The Basic Needs Of The Children
Parents will have to share responsibility for the children’s general needs. Typically, in shared custody arrangements, there will need to be basic supplies for the children at both homes. Additionally, it is common for one of the parents to have to pay child support to help cover the basic cost-of-living expenses for the children when they are at the other parent’s home.
In all but the most unusual of circumstances, Texas family law judges tend to prefer creating shared custody arrangements for divorcing and separating parents. Understanding the obligations that come with a coparenting arrangement can benefit those who are preparing to share custody of their children with the other parent. It is also important to keep in mind that parents can seek legal guidance if they have questions about their rights or responsibilities at any time.