Learn the Custody Laws in Texas to Ensure a Safe Summer Trip

Learn the Custody Laws in Texas to Ensure a Safe Summer Trip

Custody laws in Texas, like throughout much of the United States, are guided by specific rules set down by the courts. The main concern of the courts is always what’s in the best interest of the child. Because of this, child visitation agreements are designed with the rights of the children in mind as much as the rights of the parents.

But when holidays and summer vacation roll around, it may be hard for a custodial parent to remember that a child’s visitation rights are at stake — especially if your divorce wasn’t as amicable as you would’ve liked.  And it can be hard for a non-custodial parent to stick to a strict visitation schedule, especially if you feel like your parenting time favors the other spouse.  So to ensure that you’re not only sticking to the court-mandated guidelines around the custody laws in Texas, but that you’re also spending as much quality time with your child as you can, we recommend the following tips to create a stress-free summer visit for you, your former spouse, and most especially your kids.

Your Kids Have Rights, Too, under Child Visitation Agreements

Regardless of how you feel about child visitation agreements, it’s imperative that you and your ex work together to create a healthy and happy environment for your kids.  When you’re handling the details of a summer visitation schedule, consider the following:

  • Sometimes, you have to be flexible. It’s possible that your children are the ones who are pushing for more time at the pool or another sleepover in the tree house outside. Remember: your kids don’t care about the custody laws in Texas; they care about having fun with their mom or dad.  Before you fly off the handle at a former spouse who can’t stick to a rigid time table, or who needs to switch a weekend visit, take a deep breath and discuss concessions you’re willing to make to accommodate changes in schedules.
  • Sometimes, you need to be firm. “Child visitation rights” means that your child has a right to spend time with both custodial and non-custodial parents.  If your ex tends to blow off his/her weekends and vacations, it creates stress not just for you but for your children. Make it a point to sit down with your ex and rationally discuss the importance of sticking to the holiday or summer visitation schedule, so that your children don’t feel unloved or unwanted.
  • Always, you need to think about safety. If you find that your children come home different than when they left, or resist going on vacation with their other parent, don’t ignore the signs: speak with your lawyer immediately.  If you’re unsure whether or not your former spouse is being abusive, consider hiring a private investigator to collect evidence.  Courts will grant modifications to child visitation agreements if the safety of the child is in jeopardy. Working with your lawyer and a PI may be the difference between a holiday of abuse and a holiday of relaxation.

It’s hard to see your children leave for the summer, but by putting their best interests first, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary stress. If you’re suspicious of your ex’s behavior, speak with an investigator who can help. If you’re angry that your spouse can’t stick to the appropriate time frame to drop off the kids, think before you yell.  Ultimately, the parenting time plan should allow for you and your former spouse to spend enough time with your children — not just for you, but for your kids. By remembering that your child has visitation rights too, you’re in a better position to create a safe and secure environment for your kids that can satisfy everyone.

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