The majority of parents who file for divorce in Texas are required to negotiate a parenting plan that will dictate how and when they will see their children. In some cases, the judge presiding over the case will determine which party receives physical and legal custody of the children, or if the couple will share joint custody of the children. The important thing to keep in mind is that parenting plans are not one size fits all. Each family should create a customized plan that will fit their lifestyle and always keep the best interests of the children in mind.
A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology discovered that children who come from families where both parents spend a significant amount of with the children are better adjusted in comparison to children who spend the majority of time with just one parent. After reviewing more than 30 studies that looked at custody schedules and the development of children, researchers found that kids coming from joint custody situations performed better in school, had better family relationships and experienced fewer emotional and behavioral problems.
The study showed that children gain different behavioral, intellectual and emotional skills from each parent and that consistent contact with both parents is best for most children. Of course, there are exceptions where contact with an emotionally or physically abusive parent is not good for the child. When negotiating a parenting plan, parents should keep in mind the interests of the children. Whether that means living in close proximity to one another or being involved in the childrens’ education and extracurricular activities, parents should find out what works out for them.