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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Factors to remember for a parent who has child custody

When there is a divorce in Houston, one of the common issues in dispute will be child custody. The best interests of the child are key. There are foundational factors to remember whether there is physical or legal custody ordered by the court or the couple has come to an informal agreement.

Custodial parents must take certain steps to adhere to their responsibilities. A parenting plan will be needed so that the non-custodial parent is able to see the child regularly. If there is no parenting plan organized by the parents, the court can order a visitation schedule. Often, a custodial parent will receive child support from the non-custodial parent. It is wise to retain a record of what is paid in case the supporting parent falls behind and proof is needed as to what is owed.

Keeping the non-custodial parent involved in key decisions is essential. The child's best interests are paramount and take precedence. A safe environment, good health care, education and more must be present. This is the basis of how the court will make its decisions regarding custody and visitation. If a custodial parent decides to move out of state, it might be necessary to get the court's permission to relocate. Also, the non-custodial parent may need to adjust their parenting time.

When there are significant expenses, the non-custodial parent should be informed. That includes medical costs, child care and other necessities or discretionary items. Since the parents are sharing responsibility, it is beneficial to discuss how to pay for major purchases. Child custody cases can be difficult and contentious. Even in cases where the parties are on relatively good terms, there can still be disagreements. Having legal assistance with complex child custody disputes may be helpful for a satisfactory resolution.

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