Divorce puts a lot of pressure on parent-child relationships, as it is a time of intense emotions and major changes. One of the biggest changes will involve sharing custody of your children. In a shared custody case scenario, you will likely want to spend as much time as possible with your kids.
Once you and your ex negotiate a child custody arrangement or the courts create a parenting plan that specifies how you should divide parenting time, you will have at least a rough idea of how frequently you will get to see your children. You can ask for other terms in your custody order that might lead to more parenting time beyond what is already promised.
Specifically, by asking for the first right of refusal when your ex needs child care, you can potentially spend more time with your children than you would otherwise be able to according to your current custody arrangements.
How does the first right of refusal work?
If you have the first right of refusal for parenting time, your ex needs to inform you when their schedule or availability changes. If they have to pick up an emergency shift at work or meet their parents at the hospital, they should call you first before reaching out to a member of their family, their new significant other or a professional babysitter.
Asking for the first right of refusal does not create more obligation for you. You always have the opportunity to decline that extra parenting time. However, when you are available, you will have the opportunity to spend more time with your children.
You could include terms about sharing time as well
Often, divorcing parents divide everything up. You alternate holidays for birthdays and school events, like basketball games or play performances.
However, if you and your ex can agree to be cooperative with one another, you might be able to share those special events. Having both parents present at sporting events or on holidays might be a good thing for your children. It can also give you more time with them, which is always a good thing.
Including the right terms in your Texas custody arrangements can help you keep the children a top priority in your life.