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Posted on in Child Custody

Texas child custody attorney, Texas family law attorneyThe holidays can be a difficult time for families who have recently gone through a divorce. Creating and adhering to a parenting plan can make all the difference in helping children transition to a new time-sharing schedule, while also allowing them to enjoy the holidays, so if you are currently going through a divorce or have questions about a parenting plan or standard possession order, it is important to contact an experienced complex child custody attorney who can help protect the interests of both you and your children.

Standard Visitation Guidelines

It is usually in a family’s best interest to attempt to reach a voluntary custody agreement outside of court. This leaves the parents in control of the outcome and can help avoid the expense and stress that often comes with going to court. However, coming to an agreement is sometimes impossible, at which point a family court will need to step in and draft a standard possession order (SPO). The typical SPO makes standard arrangements for holiday visitation, including winter break, although courts can alter the SPO if doing so would be in the best interests of the child.

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Texac complex custody lawyer, parental rights, PAS,Twenty years after psychiatrist Dr. Richard Gardner first identified the disorder, Parental Alienation Syndrome is a widely, although not universally, condition that affects many complex custody disputes in Travis County and nearby jurisdictions.

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

PAS is generally defined as the systematic poisoning of the relationship between a Non-Custodial Parent and that parent's children. In most cases, the alleged perpetrator is the Custodial Parent mother. The Jason Patric/Baby Gus saga is an extreme example of PAS. The actor served as a sperm donor to his girlfriend, and after the child was born, Danielle Schreiber did not allow Mr. Patric to have contact with the boy. A trial court ultimately ruled in favor of Ms. Schreiber, but an appeals court partially overturned that decision.

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Texas divorce attorney, Texas complex litigation attorney, high-asset divorce, One of the most difficult decisions, and the most important, that needs to be made during a complex divorce is how will child custody be divided. There are several different options to that question – including sole or shared custody - but the final outcome is decided and approved by the court.

At one time, it was pretty much the standard in child custody cases that the mother would receive sole physical custody and the father would have a set visitation schedule. Typically, that visitation schedule was every other weekend and one night during the week. However, as the norms of society have changed, with fathers taking a more active role in parenting responsibilities, it has become more common for courts to award joint - or shared - custody to both parents.

Multiple studies have concluded that in most circumstances, it is better for children both emotionally and physically to have both parents taking an active role in raising them. According to research documented by the American Psychological Association (APA), children whose parents have joint custody have higher self-esteem, do better in school and socially, have less emotional issues, less behavior issues and get along better with siblings and other family members than children who come from sole custody families.

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