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Co-Parenting Babies and Toddlers

Every family is different. Parents must learn to co-parent together outside of marriage when their child is still very young. In those cases, it’s a good idea to talk with your lawyer about what’s best for your family. Babies and toddlers have needs and abilities different from those of an older child. 

Co-Parenting When a Child Is Under Three Years Old

In most cases involving children and divorce, courts believe that something called a Standard Possession Order is in the best interests of a child. A Standard Possession Order is intended to protect the best interests of children when determining how the non-custodial parent (the parent the children don’t live with) spends time with them. It generally lists what weekdays, weekends and holidays both parents can have with their children.

Texas law, however, says that Standard Possession Orders are not meant for children less than three years old. Instead, Texas courts consider a series of factors, including things like:

  • The physical, medical, behavioral and developmental needs of the child
  • The effect on the child of separation from either parent
  • The caregiving provided to the child before the current custody lawsuit
  • The child’s need for routine
  • The age of the child

Things to Consider When Co-Parenting a Very Young Child

When you and your ex break up or divorce while your child is very young, the child will never remember that you were ever together. What they will remember is that you and the other parent worked together to give your child the best life possible–that you loved him or her and treated each other with respect.

Respectful co-parenting means choosing to work together, even when you disagree. It means communicating about your baby’s needs or toddler’s needs and making sure to involve both parents as those needs change. This is especially important when caring for a young child who can’t effectively communicate their needs and who is growing quickly.

To make successful co-parenting happen, many experts recommend arranging short and frequent visits with the non-custodial parent. For young children, they’re less stressful than long, overnight visits. A schedule for a young child might plan for a few hours a few times a week. Time can and should be extended as the child grows older.

Co-Parenting Babies and Toddlers | Schneider Law Firm, P.C. | iStock-619735158
817-799-7125 – When a child is under three, courts do not necessarily order visitation as they do for older children. Here are some things to consider when co-parenting a very young child.

Get Help With Child Custody. Contact an Attorney.

Of course, every family’s needs are different. It’s best to talk with a lawyer about yours. If you need legal help with co-parenting a baby or toddler, you can start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125. Our Texas divorce lawyers are here to support you.


Supervised Visitation in Texas

Texas courts want both parents to have a fulfilling relationship with their children, whether married or divorced. But there are some times when protecting parental visitation rights can be difficult—like when allegations of emotional or physical abuse are present, when a parent struggles with mental health or substance use issues, or when there is a likelihood of child abduction by a parent.

In those cases, Texas courts may order something called “supervised visitation.” During supervised visitation, the parent is not allowed to be alone with the child. Instead of meeting alone at the parent’s home, for example, the parent and child may spend time together at another location where someone else is present. That person may be:

  • A neutral third party, like a neighbor or relative
  • The other parent
  • A paid professional at an agency
Supervised Visitation in Texas
817-799-7125 – In some situations, like when allegations of abuse are present, Texas courts order supervised visitation to protect the best interests of the child.

How It Works: Supervised Possession Orders

If there are concerns about a child’s safety, a judge may issue a Supervised Possession Order. The Supervised Possession Order attaches to a divorce decree or child custody order and states that both parents must follow it.

Typically, it will list the names of both parents and say that restrictions or limitations on a specific parent’s custody are required to protect the best interests of the child. The order then lays out the terms of visitation, including where the visitation will take place.

Supervised Visitation Centers

Many co-parents choose to have supervised visitation take place at a supervised visitation center. In Tarrant County, there are many options to choose from. The Texas Attorney General keeps a directory of access and visitation locations to choose from, and we can make a recommendation for your family based on our experience, too.

Unfortunately, there is a cost associated with using a supervised visitation center. Usually, the parent requiring supervised visitation must pay the fee. Although the fee can be a deterrent for some families, most parents find they would do anything to protect their relationships with their children while keeping them safe and secure.

Talk With an Attorney About Supervised Visitation

The law on supervised visitation and child custody is very complicated. The best way to get answers about your situation is to talk with a lawyer. Start by calling the Arlington office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., at 817-799-7125 . Consultations with our attorneys are confidential. We can answer your questions and take action to protect your children and your relationship with them.


What Is Considered Abandonment in a Texas Divorce?

Marriage can be hard. And, when things get hard, some spouses walk away. When a spouse leaves the relationship, it can be confusing for the remaining spouse to know what to do. Texas law offers guidance, and the lawyers at the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., can help protect your interests.

Abandonment as Grounds for Divorce

Abandonment is one of seven different “grounds for divorce” listed under Texas law. Abandonment can be grounds for divorce if your case meets two different requirements:

  1. Your spouse left with the intention to abandon you
  2. Your spouse stayed away for at least a year

This can be challenging to prove. To use abandonment as grounds for divorce, you must show the court that your ex-spouse left with the intention to never come back. Just leaving is not enough. The intent to leave you permanently must also be there.

Further, the spouse must have been gone for at least a year. Logistically, this can be a problem for the spouse left at home, as they struggle to pay the bills and take care of the children. It’s hard to make ends meet as a single parent before a divorce is filed and a child support order is issued.

Abandonment in a Texas Divorce | Texas Divorce
817-755-1852 – When a spouse leaves the relationship, it can be hard for the remaining spouse to know what to do. The lawyers at the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., can help.

Emotional Abandonment 

Physical abandonment is most-often considered when discussing abandonment as grounds for divorce, but emotional abandonment can be a factor in a divorce, too. Emotional abandonment happens in situations where one spouse has given up all interest in the other spouse. For example, when one spouse has become so addicted to drugs that they cannot be emotionally present for their spouse, they may be seen to have emotionally abandoned the marriage. Talk with your attorney about your options if you feel that your spouse has emotionally abandoned you and your family.

Abandonment: What Courts Can Do

If a judge finds that your spouse has abandoned you, he or she might divide your community property accordingly. Judges have the power to divide property in relation to fault in a marriage. You may be entitled to receive a greater share of community property if your spouse has left the marriage and is not coming back.

When a Spouse Has Left, Get Legal Help

At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can answer your questions about abandonment by a spouse. We can help you understand the divorce process and what next steps to take. Call 817-755-1852 to talk with us about your situation.


What Are the Grounds for Filing for a Divorce in Texas?

 “Grounds for divorce” is a phrase that comes up a great deal when a person is thinking of ending a marriage. You might have heard it on TV or in conversations with your friends. But, what does it mean? And how do Texas courts view grounds for divorce?

The Law on Grounds for Divorce in Texas

Under Texas law, there are seven grounds for divorce:

  • Insupportability: Courts may grant a marriage without assigning fault if they find that the marriage has become insupportable. That means that the spouses are experiencing so much discord and conflict of personalities that the marriage cannot be saved. Insupportability is the most common grounds for divorce because it doesn’t assign blame to either spouse. In that way, it can be compared with “no-fault divorces” in other states and is listed as the reason when both spouses want the divorce.
  • Cruelty: Courts may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other spouse is so cruel that the marriage has become insupportable. Cruelty can take many forms. Physical violence can be cruelty. So can be belittling the other spouse, continuous rage and anger.
  • Adultery: Courts may grant a divorce in favor of one spouse if the other has committed adultery. 
  • Conviction of a felony: Conviction of a felony or imprisonment for at least one year can be grounds for a divorce.
  • Abandonment: Abandonment can be grounds for divorce is a spouse left with the intention to abandon the other and stayed away for at least a year.
  • Living apart: Living apart can be grounds for divorce if the spouses have lived apart for at least three years without living together at any point.
  • Confinement in a mental hospital: Confinement in a mental hospital can be grounds for divorce when a spouse is in a mental hospital and their condition is such that, even if they do come home again, relapse is probable.
What Are the Grounds for a Texas Divorce? | Texas Divorce
817-755-1852 – Under Texas law, there are seven grounds for divorce. These include insupportability, adultery, abandonment and cruelty.

How Do Grounds for Divorce Impact Dissolution of Marriage?

While grounds for divorce often has little impact on whether the judge will grant a divorce, it can affect the way a Texas judge divides community property, assigns child custody or orders child support. It is possible for a wronged spouse to receive a greater share of the community property in a divorce or more time with the children.

When a spouse has had an affair, committed a felony or been especially cruel and abusive, judges can consider the situation when issuing the final order. For that reason, it’s important to talk about the grounds for divorce with your lawyer and choose the approach that best matches your situation.

Contact Us for Help With Your Divorce

If you’re considering a divorce, talking with a lawyer is a good way to get real information about the grounds for divorce. For a confidential consultation, call our Arlington office at 1-817-755-1852 .