If my husband works offshore, how will custody work with our 4 year old daughter?

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If my husband works offshore, how will custody work with our 4 year old daughter?

My husband works offshore (28 days on and 28 days off). Our 4 year old daughter has never spent a night away from me, and I’ve always been her primary caretaker in our relationship. I am considering divorce, but I am worried about the custody arrangements. He is a good dad, but being the primary caretaker, I do not want to go 28 days without seeing my child. Would he get to have her on weekends, or would he have her for the entire 28 days home?

Asked on February 18, 2011 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In 2005 Texas instituted what is known as the use of a Parenting Plan and a parenting coordinators in the actions for divorce and custody.  In Texas, there is a rebutable presumption that parents should serve as the Joint Managing Conservators of their children. Joint Managing Conservatorship does mean that the parents will either share, allocate, or apportion parental rights and duties. These are the same parental rights and duties that the parents have prior to a divorce being filed; they just may be allocated differently in the divorce. But there are new requirements, as in most cases, the child's domicile must be established in the final Court orders. The Court must make a finding of no family violence to either approve an agreement or appoint the parents a joint managing conservators. Courts always prefer that the parties work out their custody and visitation agreements and will give priority to these agreement as long as the are in the best interest of the child.  Yours is a unique situation but it does not mean that you will not see your daughter for 28 straight days.  It does mean, however, that your life will not change and that maybe your daughter will spend some nights without you if she can handle same.  Good luck to you. 


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