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Some information about co-parenting in Texas

A parenting plan is one of the most important things to consider in divorce cases where child custody is an issue. This plan may take the form of an informal agreement between the parents, or it may consist of a formal legal document that specifies how much time children spend with each parent and other matters.

One of the main objectives of a parenting plan is determining who has primary custody and how visitation will be outlined. This arrangement also covers special occasions like holidays and birthdays. Everyday decision-making and payment for expenses and activities are also important parts of the plan, which can also cover what happens if one of the parents moves out of the county or state as well as how disputes are resolved.

Both parents have several rights where their children are concerned that include access to health and education records, the ability to consult with educators and doctors, and serving as an emergency contact on medical and school records. There is some flexibility in how parents can handle decisions. One parent may take sole responsibility for decisions related to a specific issue, or both parents may assume joint responsibility. Another common arrangement involves the parent who has the child at the time to make the decision.

Child custody issues are ideally dealt with when both parents are in agreement. A parenting plan should always represent the best interests of the child. However, when no agreement can be reached, the parents may have to rely on a decision on these matters made by a court. Consulting with an attorney before drafting a parenting plan may ensure that things work out better for all concerned parties.

Source: Office of the Attorney General of Texas, "Co-Parenting Guide", accessed on Jan. 13, 2015

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Bruce Turner

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