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Austin Divorce LawyerOne of the most difficult decisions in a divorce for a couple who has children is how the parenting time of the children will be divided. Multiple studies have shown that children benefit from having both parents actively involved in their lives. This has led over the past few years to more and more family court judges leaning towards shared custody of the child instead of one parent having primary custody and the other parent having a visitation schedule.

In most shared custody cases, the child goes back and forth between each of the parent’s homes. They have two bedrooms, two sets of clothes, two sets of toys, etc. And although the child is benefitting from having both parents active in their life, it can still be difficult for the child who is always going from one house to another, with issues popping up, like forgetting their favorite stuffed animal that they sleep with at night at their other parent’s house. A fairly new type of custody may solve these types of issues, but is it workable in all cases?

Birdnesting Custody

In a birdnest custody situation, there is one “nest” and that is where the child resides 100 percent of the time. Depending on what type of property division agreement the couple worked out, the house that the child lives in is the marital home.


Austin Child Custody LawyerWhen a couple makes the decision to divorce, one common concern they often have is how to make sure the divorce will have the least amount of negative impact on their children as possible. It is well documented how much of an effect divorce and child custody has on families, with new living arrangements often needed, new family dynamics, and new roles for everyone. The smoother these changes occur, the better adjusted children will be.

It is not always easy to work together with someone you are divorcing, given the acrimony that may be present, however, that should be the goal when it comes to co-parenting. One of the most important tools that can help attain that cohesiveness between parents is to create a parenting plan that you both can agree on.

Creating a Parenting Plan

As you negotiate custody with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you will also want to set down guidelines regarding how this shared custody will work. Every parenting plan is different because it should be tailored to your specific situation. Some parents may need to have only a brief overview of what is expected, while other parents will need extensive details included in their plans.


Travis County Family Law AttorneyOne of the most contentious issues between divorcing couples is child support. The parent who receives the support often thinks the amount the other parent has to pay is not enough to cover all the actual expenses of the child, while the parent who has to pay often thinks they are paying too much and questions where the money is going. While the judge is the one that makes the final decision on how much child support should be paid, many parents are still unsure what child support is actually supposed to cover.

How Child Support Works

When parents divorce, they must consider certain issues regarding the children. These issues include child custody and parenting time. Whether or not child support will be paid and which parent will pay is a decision made by the court and usually depends on the amount of time the child will spend with each parent.

Child support is supposed to cover certain expenses, while other expenses usually need to be addressed separately in the parenting agreement. These extra expenses may include childcare costs, medical insurance and medical expenses, extracurricular activities, and sports. Future college tuition is also an issue that should be addressed during divorce negotiations.


Travis County Divorce LawyerThe old expression, “once bitten, twice shy,” probably sums up how many people feel after going through a divorce. Couples may enter a first marriage without considering how life’s realities can affect a relationship. Finances, children, in-laws, and jobs are all issues that can overshadow the romantic side of marriage.

People who go through a divorce typically have a much more realistic view of what a second marriage may hold. This is especially true for those who have gone through a messy divorce — one which may have involved drawn-out negotiations over marital assets and other finances. Therefore, when a divorced individual considers remarriage, there are several questions they should discuss with their potential spouse. Starting out on the same page can go a long way in avoiding another trip to divorce court. The following are some important issues to address before a second marriage

Will You and Your Spouse Keep Assets Separate or Mesh Them Together?

If you both have children from prior relationships, it may be wise to keep your assets separate. This will help ensure that there is no question regarding what your children receive if you or your spouse pass away. One way to clearly define how you will be sharing assets, or keeping them separate, is by having a prenuptial agreement drawn up before your marriage.


Travis County Family Law AttorneyOne of the most difficult decisions that needs to be made in a divorce is how custody or parenting time will be divided between the parents. Every parent who is in this situation wants to do what is best for their child and make sure they come through the divorce process with as little emotional upset as possible. How parents handle custody issues, and how they communicate these issues with each other, goes a long way in how secure and stable a child feels following the divorce.

There are several different ways that custody can be decided. In the best circumstances, the parents will be able to negotiate an agreement the court will approve. If this cannot be done, the court will make the final decision based on the best interest of the child doctrine, regardless of how much each parent may object. The following is a brief overview of different custody arrangements.

Traditional Two-Home Custody

The most common custody arrangement when couples divorce is that each parent establishes their own home and custody can be either shared with both parents having equal parenting time or one parent has primary custody and the other parent has a visitation schedule.

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