As a parent, your love for and sense of responsibility toward your child very likely influences all of your important decisions. From how you choose to advance your career after becoming a parent to where you take a vacation, the needs and desires of your children often become more important than your own.

Being a devoted parent can make going through divorce that much more frightening. Many parents worry about whether they will lose custody of their children. Everyone has heard at least a few horror stories about good parents who get cut off by a malicious former spouse.

The good news is that while such travesties of justice do occasionally occur, they are, in fact, quite rare. Educating yourself about how Texas handles custody disputes in divorce can give you peace of mind and help you plan for the future.

Shared custody is the new standard

Just a few decades ago, it was popular belief that the best option for children after a divorce was to live with one parent and spend visitation time with the other. Now, however, research has shown that the opposite is true. The best outcome for divorce in terms of psychological impact on the children is a situation with shared custody with both parents.

Because the courts in Texas must make each decision focused on the best interest of the children, they will favor shared custody arrangements except in rare and extreme circumstances. No matter how angry you and your ex may be at one another, you will likely wind up co-parenting together for many years.

With the exception of families plagued by serious addiction or a history of abuse, both parents will likely have some allocation of responsibilities, including parenting time.

Focus on the future instead of the past when handling custody decisions

Divorcing parents often get so focused on the process of ending their marriage that they fail to remember that it is only a stepping stone on a path toward a future with their children. Given that the most likely outcome in your divorce is shared custody, you may want to carefully consider whether you can work toward an uncontested divorce and find some way to amicably resolve outstanding issues with your ex.

Even if you cannot amicably resolve problems and must go to the court for resolution, you should always keep it in the back of your mind that you will eventually have to work together with your ex to continue parenting your children.

It is normal and natural to worry about how divorce could impact your relationship with your kids. If you feel like you need a strong strategy in your divorce, it may be time to sit down with a family law attorney who understands the nuances of Texas custody decisions.