Creating a fair parenting plan is often one of the most contentious aspects of the divorce process for most couples. Parents often get into heated arguments over the amount of time they get to spend with their children, and when they are denied their requests, a long legal battle can ensue. To help you avoid this mess, our experienced legal professionals explain how to make a parenting plan if you are getting divorced in the state of Texas.
Basic Elements of a Parenting Plan
A parenting plan is an agreement or court order between parents that sets forth the amount of time the children can spend with each parent, how decisions about the children will be made, and which parenting responsibilities will be shared.
Parenting plans are supposed to help parents avoid future conflicts when exchanging custody of their children. Some parents reach an agreement to distribute various considerations among both parents, while others can’t agree on how to deal with issues regarding the children. Courts will make a final decision on a parenting plan if the parents can’t agree on the best interests of the children.
Parenting plans should include the following:
- A regular schedule for when the children will spend time with each parent
- Which holidays will be shared by parents
- Ways to handle schedule changes that might arise.
- Which parent will make day-to-day decisions for the children
- How the parents will share making important decisions about the children
- Arrangements for exchanging custody of the children
- Arrangements for extra financial expenses for the children
You should ask yourself the following questions to help you form the basis of your parenting plan:
- Which parent’s house will serve as “home base” for the children?
- How will the children split time between parents during the school year?
- When will the children be with each parent during holiday breaks?
- Which parent will have more custody during the summer?
- How will the parent exchange the children at the beginning of their scheduled time?
- Which parent will make decisions about extracurricular activities?
- How should the children’s religious upbringing be handled?
- Which parent will make medical decisions for the children?
- Which parent can make legal decisions for the children?
- Which parent will be responsible for paying for the children’s health insurance?
- How will out of state and out of country travel arrangements with the children work?
Do you need help resolving a divorce dispute? If so, you should contact our Dallas divorce team to get assistance with your case. We are here to guide you through all of your options and ensure your interests are fully protected.