Most Texas couples want to do the best for their children. When it comes to divorce, this can be a challenge since no matter what parents do, there will be changes to which the children will need to adjust. Designing a parenting plan that works for the whole family could help make the transition from one household to two less stressful and upsetting.
This means considering as many potential situations as possible — not just where the children will live and when visitation will occur. Texas parents can also document at least some of the major decisions that will affect the children’s futures such as a choice of religion or choices regarding their education. Decisions regarding holidays, vacations and birthdays may also be included in the agreement.
Just because their parents are divorcing does not mean that the children need to be kept away from extended family such as cousins, grandparents and aunts and uncles. If the parents choose to do so, provisions regarding these types of visits can be included as well. One other issue that often gets addressed in parenting plans is how the couple will resolve any disagreements or scheduling conflict that arise. It would be a mistake not to address this contingency since even happily married parents disagree on the children periodically.
Even though the parenting plan put into place at the time of the divorce may be modified in the future, the more issues that are addressed in the original agreement makes it possible to avoid having to return to court in the near future. In the middle of a divorce, it can be difficult to think of all of the relevant issues. It would more than likely be helpful to include an attorney in any discussions and negotiations of the plan in order to help ensure that it is as complete as possible, meets with current Texas law and will obtain the approval of the court.
Source: FindLaw, “The Parenting Agreement“, June 18, 2017