A parenting plan is a document that lays out the terms of a co-parenting arrangement. It covers aspects such as custody, visitation, and decision-making for the child.
In Texas, specific standard provisions must be included in a parenting plan. However, parents are free to add additional provisions as well. An experienced attorney can help put together a parenting plan that meets the needs of the parents and the child.
Parenting Plan or Child Custody Agreement?
A parenting plan includes information such as where the child will live, which parent will have primary custody, and how parenting time will be divided between the parents. A parenting plan can be part of a child custody agreement, but it can also be a standalone document.
In Texas, parenting plans are often used in cases where the parents have joint custody of their children. Parenting plans can be court-ordered, or parents themselves can create them. Either way, a judge must approve parenting plans before they become legally binding.
Parenting plans are important because they help provide stability for children. They can also help reduce conflict between parents by clearly outlining parenting time and decision-making expectations. Parenting plans are not legally binding, but they can be enforceable if both parents agree to them.
It is important to include the standard provisions in the parenting plan, as well as any additional provisions that may be necessary. Some of the standard provisions that must be included in a parenting plan in Texas are:
How custody will be determined
A schedule for visitation
A method for resolving disputes
A provision for modifying the parenting plan
A designation of who will make decisions regarding the child's welfare
Parents are free to add additional provisions to the parenting plan as well. Some common additions include:
A provision for communicating changes with the child
A parenting schedule for holidays and school breaks
Guidelines for parenting during transitions, such as divorce or remarriage
A method for exchanging information about the child
The Stuart Firm can also provide guidance on modifying the parenting plan in the future if necessary. If you are in the process of creating a parenting plan, or if you need to change an existing parenting plan, an experienced attorney can help. Contact our Texas family law attorney today to get started.