In Texas, co-parents are generally required to enter into a specific parenting time schedule before their divorce or child custody case can be resolved. When a child’s parents are able to mutually agree upon scheduling terms, they can craft this agreement in whatever fashion best meets their family’s needs and their child’s best interests. If parents can’t agree on scheduling terms, default and election options are presented to a child’s non-custodial parent and that parent can choose their preferred standardized terms.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to child custody and parenting time schedules that work best for every family. Therefore, the approach that works best for a loved one’s family or a friend’s may or may not work “best” for yours.
Writing your playbook
Your parenting time schedule will serve as a legally-enforceable resource, designed to govern when you and your co-parent have possession and access to your child. If you and your co-parent can’t agree on your terms, you’ll have no choice but to navigate standard terms provided by the court.
If you and your co-parent can reach a mutual agreement without a judge’s interference, you can construct whatever terms work for all involved. Make sure that any terms you craft are stable enough that everyone understands their rights and responsibilities but are also flexible enough that they aren’t being breached unintentionally with any frequency. Stable yet flexible tends to be a workable structure.
Carefully considering how your parenting time schedule will affect your child and whether it is workable for you and your co-parent is important. If your approach isn’t manageable or it isn’t the healthiest way for your child to move forward, it won’t be sustainable. Thinking through your options will allow you the surest chances of success moving forward.