Even in divorce, most well-meaning parents put the needs of their kids first. However, when there is high conflict or animosity between parents, they can easily lose sight of what’s important and what might be in the best interest of their children.
In Texas, children have rights when their parents split. To protect them and help to maintain and preserve the parent-child relationship, Texas has created a Children’s Bill of Rights.
This document outlines the “do’s and don’ts” of parenting to keep the needs of their children front and center. There are 31 bullet points for parent behavior included in the Bill of Rights, but some of them include:
- Neither parent will speak poorly of the other parent. Parents are expected to take the high road regarding all communication about the other parent–no negative talk, no influencing, no judgments and no commentary.
- Neither parent will pressure the child to “choose” or dislike the other parent.
- Parents are to cooperate with each other regarding parenting time.
- Parents are to acknowledge that the child has two homes.
- A child will not be denied access to a parent by phone.
- Discussions about custody, financial or legal matters and arguments will take place out of earshot of the children.
- A child is allowed to display photos or memorabilia of or from the other parent and bring home gifts or other possessions from the other parent's house.
Parents aren’t the only adults expected to follow these rules–Texas law expects all adults involved with the children to follow its guidelines including grandparents and babysitters.
The health, safety and general well-being of the children are the predominant concerns in the court system and this Bill of Rights honors their best interests.