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Drafting a Parenting Plan

Posted on in Child Custody

Texas child cutody laws, Texas complex custody attorneySince 2005, all couples involved in custody proceedings are required to submit a parenting plan setting out the duties and rights of both parties. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to come to an agreement regarding access to the child or which parent will provide the primary residence. Judges are then required to modify or create the plan themselves, meaning that the couple has little control over the outcome of the custody proceedings. If you or a loved one are involved in custody negotiations, it is important to contact an experienced child custody lawyer who can help you successfully navigate the process while protecting your interests.

Parenting Plan Basics

In order to be approved by a judge, a parenting plan must:

  • Set out the rights and duties of a custodian;
  • Designate certain periods of possession and access to the child;
  • Provide for child support; and
  • Optimize the development of a close and continuing relationship between parents and their child.

Parenting plans can also include an alternative dispute resolution procedure that both parties agree to use before seeking modification through litigation.

To be most effective, parenting plans should include details about the following:

  • When the child will spend time with each parent on a regular basis;
  • What steps to take if one parent relocates;
  • Who will make day-to-day decisions about the child’s well-being;
  • How modifications should be made to the parenting plan if required;
  • How vacations and holiday time will be split;
  • How exchange of the child will occur; and
  • Which parent will be responsible for specific expenses.

If a judge is required to draft the parenting plan due to the parties’ disagreement, he or she may consider the following:

  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical or emotional needs;
  • Which parent was the primary caregiver prior to the divorce;
  • How willing each party is to cooperate with the other;
  • Whether either parent has a history of neglect, criminal activity, or substance abuse; and
  • The child’s preferences, if he or she is over the age of 12 years.

Contact an Experienced Child Custody Attorney Today

Custody proceedings are usually less emotional, less time-consuming, and less expensive if the parties involved work together to create a parenting plan. However, drafting a plan that works for both parties and contains all of the necessary details can be a complex process, so if you are considering a divorce and are interested in jointly parenting your children after the separation, it is important to contact an aggressive Round Rock child custody lawyer who can help explain your legal options. If you live in Williamson County, specifically near the Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, or Leander areas, please call The Law Offices of William D. Powers at 512-610-6199 and a member of our legal team will help you set-up an initial consultation.

Sources:

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.153.htm

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/cs/coparenting.pdf

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