In Texas, all community property acquired during marriage is split 50-50 in a divorce. Though the same rule does not apply to shared child custody, it is typically best for the child if each parent has custody half or close to half of the time. The downside of shared custody is that it can be hard to find a schedule that is convenient for everyone, but there are options.
Some parents may find it easiest to alternate weeks between the two of them. This is less disruptive to a child’s school week, but it could cause problems for younger children, who can develop separation anxiety if they are away from one of their parents for as long as a week. This schedule could also make it more difficult to find child care since it is harder to secure a nanny on an every-other-week basis. If feasible, parents should consider trying a child custody schedule that involves more frequent rotation.
Two alternatives that give each parent 50% custody are the 3-4-4-3 and the 2-2-3 schedules. With the first one, one parent would get the child for three days one week and four the next; the second alternative works the same way.
If it is too difficult for parents to adhere to a 50-50 shared schedule, there are other options that would still give one parent custody for approximately 30%-40% of the time, like having one parent take custody on the weekends. If the weekend is not enough, parents could consider extending the weekend and have one parent’s custody start on a Thursday.
Parents should see if they can agree on a child custody schedule themselves, but this is easier said than done. Most often, it helps when parents have the assistance of a family law attorney.