Texas parents who are involved in a divorce will most likely be faced with drawing up a parenting plan. The plan can be drawn up formally in a legal fashion or informally between themselves.
Besides outlining how each parent will spend time with the children, the parenting plan should also address the decision-making role of each parent. Important decisions may involve the child’s schooling, religious upbringing and health care. The plan should also outline how the children will be financially supported. Parents should specify how the costs of the children’s basic needs and medical care will be paid. The children’s basic needs can range from clothing to money for school activities and supplies.
Furthermore, the plan should indicate how the children will spend their holidays, birthdays and vacations. Parents should come to an agreement on how to equitably divide this time. They should also decide on who will take care of a child during days off from school, including sick days and sudden school closings due to bad weather or emergencies. The parenting plan should also outline which parent will be responsible for transporting the children between visitations. This is especially important if one parent decides to relocate out of state.
Parents must decide on how they will communicate with each other concerning all matters and be flexible regarding the need to make changes to the parenting plan. If communication is strained and a dispute arises, the matter may have to be resolved in court.
For some parents, working out a parenting plan may be very stressful and could lead to disputes. Individuals in this situation may wish to retain a family law attorney who could act as a mediator between the parties and possibly help them resolve their disputes.
Source: Office of the Attorney General of Texas, “Co-Parenting Guide,” Accessed Jan. 15, 2015