There’s an old adage that it takes a village to raise a child. It’s true. As they grow, children are shaped by the community they grow up in and by the relationships they form with others—family members, trusted adults, and friends.
So what can you do to protect your child’s sense of community in a divorce? How can you help them keep the bonds that are strengthening and shaping them as they grow?
At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., in Arlington, Texas, we guide our clients through this process to help them protect the best interests of their children in a divorce, including protecting the relationships that matter most.
Keeping Your Child in the Same Neighborhood and School
Texas courts consider the “best interests of the child” when making child custody decisions. To do that, they weigh certain factors, including community and family support. There is a strong preference to keep the child close to both parents, especially when there’s a strong support system in a certain area.
Courts understand that sometimes parents need to move to provide for their families, but they generally prefer a stable environment for the child. They take frequent moves, school changes and other life changes into account and try to make sound child custody decisions.
It’s possible to add geographic restrictions into a divorce agreement, having both parents agree that they’ll reside within a certain county or a certain set of counties. Geographic restrictions can help children maintain relationships with important people in their lives.
Protecting Your Child’s Relationship With Grandparents
The relationship a child has with their grandparents is an important one, and it’s important to protect it in a divorce. Texas courts order grandparent visitation in certain, very limited circumstances. Grandparents should talk with an attorney about grandparents’ rights to learn what their options are.
In a divorce, parents may agree to certain things in a parenting agreement. Every agreement is unique. In some cases, it’s possible to add a third party—like grandma and grandpa—to the parenting plan to ensure that the relationship is protected after the divorce.