When going through a divorce in Texas, some parents try to fight to get sole custody of the children. While there are some cases in which one parent is a much better choice in terms of caring for the kids, most courts favor a joint custody ruling. Parents should consider some of the unique benefits this arrangement brings and how to make it work for everyone.

Very Well Family focuses on some of the benefits parents discover from sharing responsibility with their ex-spouse. One is that the custody schedule helps one plan ahead to set up happy hours, dinners, vacations and shopping excursions with friends. Another benefit is that one parent does not have sole responsibility to set up rules and discipline the child.

With joint custody, each parent is also responsible for the ongoing expenses it takes to raise children. Instead of having to pay for every little thing, each spouse takes over when it is her or his custody time. A nice benefit that may take a little time to get used to is that each parent gets time for themselves. Whether it is catching up on reading, beginning an exercise program, sleeping in or even dating, there is more opportunity when sharing custody.

For newly divorced couples, Parents outlines some tips to make sure the arrangement goes smoothly. A big one is to focus on the child’s needs, and this includes keeping silent about any bad thing about the other spouse.

When setting up a schedule, each parent should consider work commitments, driving time, the kids’ after school activities and the personalities of the children. It is a good idea to review the arrangement every once in a while and adjust the schedule as needed. Regular and open communication is also very important. If talking on the phone or face-to-face is too difficult, there are other options such as texting and email.