Parents of minor children in Texas who are getting a divorce will usually need to create a parenting plan. When thinking about what to include in this plan, they might consider that they had one when they were married even if they did not make it explicit and put it in writing.
Two of the main things it will address is the custody schedule and child support. The custody schedule should also include plans for how the child will spend holidays, vacations and time not in school. Parents should agree on how to pay for the child’s health care. The parenting plan may also address the child’s relationship with other family members, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles. Whether or not parents share legal custody, which is the right to make major decisions about the child, there should be some kind of communication plan in place. Parents should also decide how they will make these decisions and what to do if they do not agree.
The plan might also need to address the child’s education and how parents will deal with school and other social functions. For example, it might specify whether they will both attend the child’s sporting events or extracurricular activities. Parents may also want to include a plan for resolving conflict. This could involve mediation.
There are a few limited situations in which a parent might not be allowed access to the child or may only be allowed supervised visitation. If the court determines that the child is in danger with the other parent for such reasons as abuse or addiction, that parent might only be permitted to see the child briefly with another party present. However, in many cases, parents are able to come to an agreement about the parenting plan through negotiations instead of going to court.