Children Custody and Support
The most important for parents is custody, visitation, and support. The most contested issue in a divorce is always custody. A divorce is dividing the family, ending routines and familiarity, and creating a new paradigm for the the parent/child relationship.Custody
In Texas, the law assumes that divorcing parents will be named Join Managing Conservators. That means that each parent has rights, duties, and obligations to their children. One parent will be designated as having the exclusive right to establish the residence of the child. When most people talk about “custody”, that is what they mean.Standard Visitation
The law creates a presumption towards choosing the standard visitation schedule. If the parents live less than 100 miles apart then the non custodial parents would have possession on the first, third and fifth weekend of a month, plus every Thursday from 6-8pm, plus a 30 days period during the summer. Holidays are rotated annually. Standard visitation does not apply to children under 3.Child Support
Child support in Texas is defined by statute. To calculate CS find gross income, apply the approrpriate deductions, then find the right % (based on # of children, inter alia). There are numerous child support calculators on the internet. My Iphone has an app for it. Here is one: http://www.divorcehq.com/calculators/tx_supportcalc.shtml.
It is possible to agree to an amount different from the guidelines. For example, for parents who live far apart it is possible to reduce support so one parent can afford to fly to see the children.