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Types of Co-Parenting Choices After a Texas Divorce

Posted on in Family Law

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.

Bird Nesting Child Custody

Bird nesting is a fairly new type of custody many people have began pursuing. It is based on the belief that the traveling back and forth between two homes is too disruptive for children. So instead of the child traveling, it is the parents. The child lives in the “nest” home (often the family home) and each parent has a separate home. Parents spend their scheduled parenting time with the child at the nest home. When it is time for the other parent to have their parenting time, the first parent goes home to their own home.

Although this type of custody may be more beneficial for children, it can be expensive, requiring the financial commitment and maintenance of three homes – the child’s, and each parent’s home. Some parents lower the cost by only having one apartment that they share for their non-parenting times.

Living Together

There are some parents who choose to still live together and co-parent in the same house, even after they have divorced. This is more common in cities that have a high cost of living, allowing the parents to split expenses instead of struggling to pay high rent, utilities, and other household expenses. This type of custody arrangement requires that the parents have a solid relationship and that there are no residual acrimonious feelings left from their marriage, otherwise, it could be very detrimental to the child.

Parallel Parenting

Unfortunately, it is far too common for parents to just not be able to get along following a divorce, yet they both want to share custody of their child. In these cases, parallel parenting can help. With this type of custody, parents have minimal interaction with each other – if at all. There is often a third party designated for the parents will communicate through, thereby eliminating the need to communicate directly with each other.

Contact a Travis County Family Lawyer

If you are considering a divorce and anticipate issues over custody, make sure you have a skilled Austin complex custody attorney advocating for you and protecting your parental rights. Call Powers and Kerr, PLLC at 512-610-6199 to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help.

 

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/co-parenting-after-divorce/201309/parallel-parenting-after-divorce

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/co-parenting-after-divorce/201307/birds-nest-co-parenting-arrangements

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