Ending a marriage may prove difficult, but when that relationship includes children, the divorce takes on a whole new meaning. In an effort to ensure children maintain a relationship with both parents, the court expects parents to create a document that sets out agreements between them and their parenting.
A parenting plan is a document the court requires those with children to create. The purpose of the plan is to show the court how you intend to share in the parenting duties and responsibilities. Before sitting down to craft a parenting plan, it helps to understand what goes into one.
What does a visitation schedule look like?
At the center of a parenting plan is the visitation schedule. This gives the court an idea of how parents will divide hands-on parenting and physical custody of their children. The schedule may look different for everyone since the ages and availability of parents varies. A standard schedule should include:
- A specific timeframe within which each parent exercises visitation
- A plan for holidays and special occasions
- A location for where the parenting time exchange takes place
What happens if the plan needs changing?
Texas family court intends that parents continue working together as children grow and their needs change. A parenting plan should evolve accordingly. For instance, if a divorce occurs when children are toddlers, they may require more attention from one parent and reside with that parent more often. As the children grow, however, the time may start to shift to allow both parents almost equal, if not equal, parenting time. While a couple may work out their modifications together, sometimes, court action may need to occur.
Keeping children and their needs at the center of a parenting plan may help a couple reach an agreement that works for the now different-looking family.