Divorce is challenging for all members of Texas families. While parents must work through the legal and financial aspects of breaking their marriages, children must cope with the emotional realities of their parents’ separations. To minimize the impacts of divorce on kids, courts work to protect their best interests when it comes to child custody and visitation arrangements.
Child custody and visitation are the legal mechanisms through which parents see, care for, or exercise rights over their kids after divorce. While they are often discussed in tandem, they are two different things. This post will discuss some of the differences between child custody and visitation, but no part of this post should be read as legal advice.
Child custody: A review
A parent with child custody has certain rights with regard to what they may do with their children after their divorce is finalized. A parent may share custody with their ex-spouse, or they may be awarded sole custody. Depending on the type or types of custody they hold, they may have the right to have their kids live with them and the right to make child-rearing decisions, such as regarding educational opportunities or medical care.
Before a court decides a child custody case, they will look at many factors to decide how best to serve the children’s needs. For this reason, individuals should not rely on the outcomes of different custody cases as their own will be resolved on the facts of their own situations.
Visitation: Different options for parents
There are many reasons that a parent may be granted visitation instead of custody. Visitation can come in many forms, such as reasonable and unsupervised visitation, to supervised visitation. If a parent cannot safely secure the health and welfare of their child during visitation time with them, they may be ordered to have their visitation time in the presence of a third party.
Before agreeing to a child custody or visitation plan, a parent should understand their rights and options. Family law and divorce attorneys are good resources for men and women who are concerned about their parental rights during divorce. Their diverse practices can support the many needs of divorcing individuals.