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How cooperating with your ex can affect child custody

Marriages often fall apart because it becomes too hard for spouses to communicate and cooperate with one another. Once the divorce gets underway, these problems tend to grow worse as they are compounded by the complex negotiations and intense emotions that often come with the territory. However, especially for parents, it can be a very good idea to focus on cooperation and communication during divorce.

One reason to make a point of cooperating during divorce is that it can give you and your children's other parent a better chance of controlling your own child custody and visitation agreement. These issues can be negotiated outside of court, but only if both parents are able to work together and come up with a solution that they both agree on. 

If you and your ex are not able to come to an agreement outside of court, you will have to go before a judge, and he or she will resolve the issue for you. The Texas Family Code requires judges to make decisions about child custody and visitation based on the best interests of the children

Because the judge does not know much about you or your family, or the individual circumstances involved, he or she is not necessarily in the best position to decide what is best for you and your kids.

Whether your child custody determination happens in court or out of it, it can be helpful to work with a divorce lawyer. He or she can advocate for your interests and help you create an agreement that works for you. Your lawyer can also explain your legal rights as a parent and make sure that those rights are protected.

Source: Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, "Visitation Rights and Responsibilities," viewed Aug. 8, 2014

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