Creating a Parenting Plan in Texas That Works for Your Family
It's common for divorcing couples to become extremely contentious when deciding issues of child custody, visitation rights, and parenting plans. This is because most parents are devoted to the well-being of their children. They are determined to provide a loving and supportive atmosphere that best promotes the growth and development of the child. A parenting plan in Texas is a useful tool that helps parents to provide that atmosphere.
In 2005, the Texas government made parenting plans a mandatory component of all divorce proceedings that involved minor children. The idea behind the parenting plan is to minimize future disputes between the former spouses while also providing the child with the continuity and care that they need to navigate a difficult, emotional time.
Almost any configuration of a parenting plan is acceptable in Texas as long as the court agrees that the plan is in the child's best interests. The parents may make a unique plan themselves with the help of their attorneys and perhaps a mediator who can assist them with any difficult factors. Once the parents agree on a parenting plan in Texas, it is presented to the judge, who will either approve the plan or decide that it needs to be modified to better suit the child's needs.
The court system requires several components to form a portion of all parenting plans in Texas. For instance, the plan must clearly define with which parent the child will live. This may mean that one parent has primary physical custody while the other parent has possession and access or "visitation" rights. Alternatively, parents who share custody with a joint managing conservatorship may split the child's residence depending on certain days of the week or weeks of the month.
Another important component of a parenting plan involves choosing which parent has the right to make certain decisions. Some parents may make joint decisions regarding invasive medical procedures, where the child attends school and where the child lives. In other plans, one parent will make all of the major decisions concerning the care of the child.
Parenting plans are not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Each one can be uniquely crafted to reflect the needs and desires of an individual family. This can be a difficult and contentious process during which it may be advisable to seek professional help and guidance. Text or call the American Family Law Center for more information.