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Child custody and co-parenting can be as flexible as parents want

Some of the most emotional decisions that Texas parents in divorce have to make involve their children. More and more people are advocating for courts to order co-parenting as a norm rather than an exception in child custody hearings. Parents who have gone through divorces and had learned valuable lessons are spreading the message that co-parenting may be the least traumatic manner to ensure ongoing parent-child relationships despite living in separate homes.

Co-parenting plans formulated by parents during negotiations rather than ordered by the court can allow flexibility that can accommodate the best interests of the children along with the schedules of parents. Parents will know best how parenting plans need adjustment according to the age of each child. While newborns and infants will be better off spending most of their time with their moms, fathers can be allocated more time with older kids.

Parents will also know that teenagers may not want to travel back and forth, but rather spend time with their friends. Drafting flexible parenting plans can allow parents to limit the anxiety children sometimes experience when they are locked into specific visitation plans, regardless of their personal wishes and needs. For example, children who know that their dads will be there for them if they need dad's advice while in mom's care will likely be as well-adjusted as any child in a home where both parents are present.

While some divorcing couples in Texas are unable to negotiate and choose to have a court decide matters related to child custody, others can sit down and negotiate parenting plans. Although this may seem like an insurmountable task at such an emotional time, the help and guidance of an experienced family law attorney may ease the process considerably. Solutions may be found through personal conversations or with the facilitation of an experienced divorce mediator along with the guidance of each person's attorney.

Source: parentherald.com, "Co-Parenting With Flexible Schedule, Making Divorce Easier", Wayne Parker, July 30, 2016

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