At one point or another, almost all marriages go through rough patches, causing many spouses to use separation as a tool to work through difficult conflicts. In some cases, separation shows a couple that divorce is the best option, while in other cases a separation effectively helps strengthen trust and compatibility within a family.
Whether a separation leads to reconciliation or divorce, the experience is difficult and often traumatizing for the children of a separated couple. Parents often struggle to find the balance between taking the space they need to evaluate their circumstances fairly and meeting the needs of the children they love.
In these instances, parents may find that a separation custody arrangement evens the playing field and keeps their children’s needs and interests front-and-center. If you and your spouse choose to separate and have children living with you, then it is important to consider how a custody arrangement can help you care for the child you love and protect your rights as a parent.
Courts give preference to the best interests of children
In separation, like in divorce, courts look at the best interests of children when they evaluate a custody agreement. Keeping this in mind as you and your spouse develop your own separation custody agreement ensures that you do not waste important time and resources getting your agreement approved. When parents present a court with a custody agreement they mutually support, the court tends to approve the agreement as long as it meets the needs and interests of the couple’s children.
During separation, a clear, fair custody agreement establishes structure and routine during a turbulent, scary time, giving children the security they need to process the experience healthfully. Many parents who separate find it very difficult to agree on anything, so building a custody agreement around the needs of their child is a good way to practice fair compromise.
Putting your child first
Whatever the outcome of your separation, your relationship with your child is one of the most precious things you may ever experience, and it is worth protecting. As you work through the finer points of sharing parental privileges and parental responsibilities with your spouse, keep in mind that your relationship with your child can remain strong and grow stronger, even if your marriage does not.
A clear, well-built legal strategy can help you evaluate your options and identify your priorities, giving you the tools you need to protect your rights as a parent in Texas while you work hard to provide a good life for the child you love.