One of the most difficult aspects of any divorce is child custody. If you aren’t appointed the “custodial parent” (known in Texas as the primary joint managing conservator), your ability to see your child will likely be somewhat curtailed.
Fortunately, a “non-custodial parent” (known in Texas a possessory conservator) may have some options for seeing their children outside of their designated visitation times.
Today’s post, the second in a series, will briefly explore a few steps that a noncustodial parent can take to spend more time with their children. (See “A Few Considerations for Non-Custodial Parents” for more information.)
Please note, before undertaking any of the following suggestions, it is imperative to read your parenting plan/decree carefully to determine if you are in fact free to take such actions. If unsure, consider consulting with a legal professional.
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Volunteer to Babysit
If there are days when your former spouse must work late and/or will be unable to pick up your child from school, consider volunteering to pick them up and watch them until your former spouse gets off work. You may even offer to drop them at home at a time designated by your former spouse.
Your ex will likely appreciate saving the time and money (gas, babysitters, etc.), while your child will likely appreciate spending extra time with you – even if it is only a few hours dedicated to homework.
Attend All School Functions
If your schedule (and the parenting plan/decree) permits, you should consider attending your child’s school functions, including plays, recitals or concerts. While it is not the same as spending one-on-one time with your child, it is still a valuable opportunity to offer them support and praise. This will mean a great deal to them.
If you are uncertain as to the date of certain school functions, contact the school. They will likely be able to add your name to an email list.
Attend Birthday Parties
If it is okay with your former spouse, try to attend your child’s birthday parties. Even a short drop-in to watch them blow out the candles or open a few presents can create lasting memories.
If you can’t attend, try to setup your own birthday celebration, even if it is a much smaller affair. Your child will appreciate it and you will be glad to have made the extra effort.
This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …
8 Tips For a Parent Without Primary Custody to Spend Extra Time With The Kids (The Huffington Post)