Parents must deal with a variety of issues during a divorce. The most contentious might be the custody and visitation arrangements.
Texas Family Code Sec. 153.073 protects the right of co-parents to have a say in how they raise their children. However, this does not mean that each parent will have exactly 50/50 custody. It is possible but not always practical or in the child’s best interest.
Usually during a divorce, the courts start from the assumption of a joint conservatorship. A joint conservatorship means that both parents have an equal say in the child’s education, religion, health and other essential matters. However, many courts will not grant equal physical possession.
Standard possession orders
The standard possession order in Texas is not 50/50 custody. If you bring the custody battle to court, understand that in most cases, the court will designate one parent’s home as the child’s residence. Typically, this means the non-custodial parent has the child on the first, third and fifth weekends, plus every Thursday night. However, either parent may request to modify the specifics of this arrangement.
If you believe a split residency is the best option for your child, usually you must work with your ex-spouse and present a parenting plan to the court. Even if you give the parenting plan to the courts, they might not find it in the child’s best interest. You must present compelling evidence that you take an active role in parenting.
Despite the difficulties described above, you should still fight for 50/50 custody if you believe that is the best option for your child. At the very least, the court might grant a more favorable possession order.