20 Apr What Is A Parenting Plan?
When issues involving children are involved, a parenting plan is needed. The parenting plan addresses how these issues in regard to their children will get handled between parents. It is known as a custody agreement in other states.
Parenting plans are in place to give clarity and protect you and your children. While you may not have heard of one, it will become critical as you move through your divorce.
A parenting plan is a final, written decree. It includes aspects such as custody, child support, and the rights and responsibilities of each parent. The State of Texas has a few things that it requires in a parenting plan. This includes:
- Names of all children involved
- What you requested in your initial filing
- What type of conservator each parent will be (managing or possessory)
- A possession and access schedule explaining when the child will be with each conservator
- How parents will share or divide decision-making rights and responsibilities
- Child support
- How parents will share or divide rights and responsibilities regarding the physical care, support, and education of the child
- Details to minimize disruptions to the child’s education, routine, and friendships
- Which parent has the right to choose the child’s main residence
- Whether or not the residence must be within a certain area
- How medical and dental costs will get paid
A parenting plan can also include details surrounding time. When each parent picks up their children, when and where drop off is, and what must be included. It can also include “what if” scenarios, such as if a parent cannot pick their child up.
A parenting plan can also include clauses dictating other things, such as future dispute mediation. Travel clauses can also be included, such as passport renewal and vacation notification.
You and your spouse can work with attorneys to designate what you would like for your children. If there is any dispute, a judge can decide by looking at the best interests of the child.
Once your parenting plan has been drafted, it must be presented to the judge, and they will review and sign off on it.
The parenting plan that gets decreed does not have to be permanent. There are a few reasons a parenting plan might change:
- The circumstances of a spouse have changed,
- A child over 12 wants their wishes to be heard,
- Both parents want it to change.
In order to modify a parenting plan, a petition must be submitted to the court. A judge will once again review it and make a decision using the best interests of the child as the standard.
A family court lawyer can help you draft a parenting plan and make sure all of your wants are outlined. If you are going back and forth with your spouse, a divorce attorney can negotiate on your behalf. If you have a parenting plan in place and want to modify it, an attorney can help. Custody lawyers will advocate for what is best for you and your family. If you need to create or modify a parenting plan, contact Navarette Bowen P.C. We have a team of experienced child custody lawyers that can help. We will fight for your parental rights. Our main office is located in downtown Denton and you can contact us to set up a confidential consultation to discuss your circumstances and receive guidance.