What goes into a parenting plan?

By Williamson Law Firm, PLLC on January 4, 2020 • Firm News

Texas parents on the road to divorce have many issues to consider before resolution. The main issue, and the one that may cause the most controversy between the parties, is child custody. This issue involves only who legally takes custody of the children, but also how physical custody splits between the parents.

A parenting plan is a document that courts require parents to draft before the divorce is final. Understanding what this document does and how it can successfully function after divorce is essential to completing it. Discover some basic elements to include in a parenting plan before a judge signs off on the divorce.

Define the two custody types

Texas laws require parents to delineate the primary custodial parent. The parent with the majority of timesharing or custody is the managing conservator. This parent is legally responsible for legal decisions regarding things like medical care and education. The parent who exercises visitation is the possessory conservator. Under the law, both parents may have the managing conservator’s legal authority.

Where the parents must live

The parenting plan may also have to set forth any residential restrictions by which the parents should abide. This may include a specific radius from the center of a city or the managing conservator’s residence. This may make it easier to facilitate visitation.

Visitation schedule

The parenting plan must detail an access and possession or visitation schedule with the children. This is the foundation the parents eventually build upon as the children get older and circumstances change. The plan must include:

  • How the children will go back and forth between households
  • What days the children will stay with each parent
  • The holiday schedule, if it deviates from the regular schedule

The schedule should also establish any restrictions on travel that may need the other parent’s permission.

When it comes to getting a divorce, emotions tend to get the better of parents. Having some information on what you need may help the process go smoother.

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