Going through a divorce is one of the hardest things most people will ever do in their life. Combine that with raising a child under the age of 3, and it is even harder. Parents of toddlers during a divorce face unique problems that parents of older children may not otherwise encounter. Because of these issues, it is important to hire the best San Antonio divorce lawyer to represent you if you are divorcing with young children.
The Texas Legislature recognizes the unique issues that infants and toddlers have in separating families. Because of this, they have created 153.254 of the Texas Family Code. This statute lists the factors that a judge should consider when deciding a visitation and custody plan for your baby. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) the caregiving provided to the child before and during the current suit;
(2) the effect on the child that may result from separation from either party;
(3) the availability of the parties as caregivers and the willingness of the parties to personally care for the child;
(4) the physical, medical, behavioral, and developmental needs of the child;
(5) the physical, medical, emotional, economic, and social conditions of the parties;
(6) the impact and influence of individuals, other than the parties, who will be present during periods of possession;
(7) the presence of siblings during periods of possession;
(8) the child’s need to develop healthy attachments to both parents;
(9) the child’s need for continuity of routine; and
(10) the location and proximity of the residences of the parties.
As one of the best San Antonio Divorce lawyers, Rebecca finds that it is also important to emphasize the needs of your child for a routine. Sleeping times, eating times, and whether your baby is breastfeeding are critically important to the Bexar County judges. It is also important to establish what you do with your baby. For example, are you the parent changing diapers, making doctor’s appointments, administering medications, and reading bedtime stories? All these types of factors are considered by the judge when they are creating a possession schedule for your child. If there are other aspects of your child’s life that you think a judge should consider, you should discuss that with your lawyer. Children under the age of 3 don’t have a default possession schedule to defer to, so the more information you give to your lawyer, the better.