What Is a Parenting Plan in Texas?
A Texas parenting plan involves either an agreement or court order between parents that allocates the time the children will spend with each parent, how decisions will be made and how parenting responsibilities will be shared. This type of agreement allows parents to avoid future conflicts as a result of a lack of guidelines for handing situations. Some parents are able to agree as to the distribution of the various considerations among the parents, but others may disagree as to how to handle the issues regarding the children. When parents disagree as to the best interest of the children, the Texas divorce courts will make the final decision.
The basic elements of a parenting plan include:
- A schedule for when the children will spend time with each parent on a regular basis;
- How holidays will be shared by the parents;
- How to handle changes and adjustments that arise from time to time;
- Who will make day-to-day decisions regarding the children;
- How to share making important decisions regarding the children;
- Arrange for the exchange of the children for each parent’s time;
- Decide how to provide for the daily support of the child with each parent;
- Arrange for the extra financial expenses of the children, such as medical expenses, and extracurricular activities.
It can also be helpful to determine a method of resolving future conflicts or disagreements that may arise. Some parents have the court appoint a parenting coordinator to assist in dispute resolution. Others may agree to attend mediation or counseling to resolve future disputes.