Divorce and separation change the way people have to interact and care for their children. Parenting plan guidelines and agreements aim to streamline the process, providing parents with a way to create a cohesive plan to meet their child’s needs. Yet, they are often complex and difficult to manage. At Evans Family Law Group, we empower our clients by helping them with every component of this process.
What Are Parenting Plan Guidelines and Agreements in Texas?
A parenting plan will address how families will continue to care for a child moving forward. This could include factors related to child custody, conservatorships, and child support. The parenting plan is established, in the best cases, by the parents who come together to create a plan of action that addresses their unique needs. They become enforceable once a judge puts them in place.
A Texas parenting plan must include a significant amount of information. This includes the following:
- How the parent will share or divide the decision-making responsibilities and rights
- Will both parents be managing conservators, meaning who will have custody
- How will the parents share or divide responsibilities related to the education, physical care, and support of the child?
- Who will have the right to choose the main residence of the child?
- Will either parent pay child support? If so, how much?
- What is the possession and access schedule that explains when each parent will have time with each child?
- How will the child’s medical and dental costs be paid?
The parenting plan should also focus on how these decisions will impact the child’s life, including their education, their day-to-day routine, and their friendships. Any parenting plan submitted to the court must include, at the minimum, these requirements.
Additional Factors to Consider
It is also beneficial for a parenting plan and agreement to include additional information, including:
- What is the dispute resolution method when disagreement occurs?
- Can a child be taken out of the state without permission?
- Can one parent apply for or renew a child’s passport without the written approval of the other parent?
- What happens if the child is hospitalized or needs surgery? How does that impact decision-making and possession time?
- Will the parents be required to inform the other if they get married?
It is always a good idea to ensure the parenting plan is a direct reflection of your situation. That is, while there are standard parenting plan guidelines and agreements you can use, it is often best to choose one that is specific to your needs and the way your family interacts.
Whenever possible, these decisions should be made together, with both parents coming to an agreement. If that is not possible, you should have a family law attorney by your side throughout the process.
Let Us Answer Your Questions for You
At Evans Family Law Group, we can provide help with parenting plan guidelines and agreements in Texas. Contact our Austin family attorneys now to discuss your case. We offer free consultations and reliable, compassionate help. Call our office today so we can help you move forward.