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Prepare a schedule to protect parenting time with your child

If you and your spouse are facing divorce, the welfare of your child and matters concerning custody will be top of mind.

If you are the noncustodial parent, how can you ensure that you receive as much parenting time as possible with your child?

The elements of conservatorship

Conservatorship is the term given to child custody in the state of Texas. There are two main elements: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make major decisions regarding the raising of the child. Physical custody addresses where the child spends most of his or her time, such as the primary residence. The parent with physical custody will obviously have the most time with the child and the other parent will have parenting time or visitation privileges.

The standard possession order

The standard possession order, or SPO, is the part of a custody order that establishes the schedule for the time each parent will spend with the child. For example, the basic SPO stipulates that the noncustodial parent will have time with the child every Thursday night; time on the first, third and fifth weekends of the month; a minimum of one month during the summer and alternating holidays. There are additional rules for parents who live 100 miles or more apart.

Parental agreement

If you and the other parent can agree on a schedule for spending time with your child, you can develop a workable parenting plan, which is the best way for you to protect the amount of quality time you will enjoy with your child. Texas courts encourage cooperation and flexibility. However, the court order becomes the schedule you must follow if the two of you cannot agree.