The 8% “rule” to solve Texas Custody cases

Understanding the in and outs of your parenting plan provides little solace if you are involved in a disputed custody case. Its time to look at the bigger picture. Please get a pen, a calculator and a calendar.

Remember the extended SPO under the parenting plan? That period of time can be elected by a parent who is otherwise entitled to a SPO. It is that parent’s election given a few statutory exceptions. The extended SPO provides that parent with 42% worth of possession and access OR 153 days during the calendar year.

If the case would go to trial one parent would WIN and receives 58% of time with the child and one parent would LOSE and gets 42%. The inherent risk in taking cases to court usually will lead to parents SETTLING their dispute in mediation. Meeting in the middle means moving the percentages by 8% with each parent having 50% of the time with the children.

Settling these cases typically involves the drafting of an agreed parenting time than a parent would receive, which leaves them with 50% of possession and access to the child. Eight percent of a calendar year equals 29.2 days. Dividing 29.2 days by 12 months equals an additional 2.4 days of possession and access.

What truly matters is removing the child from conflict. The child is not totally concerned with who was right and who was wrong. Is an extra two and a half days of possession and access worth a custody fight?

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