Divorce and Children: Mothers' 5 Most Common Questions Answered

Mothers have many concerns and fears about what is going to happen to their children during and after divorce. Here are the top five concerns we hear most often at our family law firm when divorce and children play a major role.

  1. Will I be given primary child custody?  Most cases are resolved by appointing the parents as joint managing conservators, with equal rights and responsibilities for the children for the most part.  Typically, but not necessarily, the divorcing mother will be designated as the primary parent, with the exclusive right to establish the primary residence of the kids, usually within a limited geographic area.
  2. Do I have to make my kids go visit their father?  As a rule, yes, you will have the court-ordered obligation to facilitate and enable the children to spend time with their father, whether the kids think they want to go or not. Of course, there are exceptions, but the best thing for your kids is to have a good relationship with both of you and spend regular amounts of time as well.  It is well-established that kids are more self-confident and happier when they have close relationships with both of their parents.
  3. Will I get child support?  Typically, the primary parent will receive monthly child support from the other parent, and as a rule the amount is determined by the Texas legislators and set out in the laws of this state.  It is not likely to be enough to meet all the expenses and needs of the children.  Each parent is expected to provide both financial and non financial (such as transportation) support for the kids.  When a child has special needs, that will be taken into consideration and may result in an increased amount of child support.
  4. Do we have to follow a rigid possession schedule?  No, the law provides that you and your ex-spouse can allocate possession of the children in any manner on which you agree.  Ideally, the better the two of you can work together regarding the children, the happier the kids will be and the easier it will be on you.  The schedule is just a fall-back in case no agreements can be reached.
  5. What about college expenses for the children? Texas law provides that kids become legal adults when they reach age 18.  Child support payments will continue only until that age, or until the child graduates from high school.  The court has no power to order either of you to pay your children's college expenses, but you two, as parents, can make legally binding agreements about it as a part of your divorce settlement.

Of course, there are many, many other concerns divorcing mothers will have regarding divorce and children, and will need far more detailed information before making good decisions about resolving their case. At Puhl and Berbarie, we are ready to support you through the process, and provide answers and solutions for your specific circumstances.  Contact our Board Certified Attorneys and staff members at MyFamilyLawyer.net for more information.

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