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A parenting plan in Texas is a legal document which formally declares the rights and responsibilities of each parent with regard to their shared child. Other states refer to parenting plans as “custody agreements” as the plan itself details things like possession, conservatorship, and even child support. It is often the case that a court will either encourage or require each parent to submit a proposed plan If both parents agree upon a single plan, the judge is likely to accept the plan unless it would run afoul of the best interests of the child. Once a judge includes the parenting plan in a court order, it becomes legally binding and enforceable.

Texas Parenting Plan Requirements

There is certain information that must be included in a Texas parenting plan. The names of all children subject to the parenting plan must be listed near the top of the parenting plan. The plan itself must specify which parent, either or both, will be the managing conservator and how the decision-making rights and responsibilities regarding how the child will be raised will be divided between them.

The parenting plan must also address which parent will have the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the physical care as well as the child’s education. Other required points to include in a Texas parenting plan include:

  • Who will serve as the custodial conservator (the parent with the right to select the main residence of the child)
  • Whether the child’s residence must be located within a certain designated area
  • A possession and access schedule detailing when the child will be in the care of each parent
  • Who will be responsible for covering the medical and healthcare needs of the child
  • Which parent, if either, will be responsible for paying child support and, if so, how much

While there are certain required provisions to be included in the parenting plan, there are many other things which may be specified in the plan itself. The more detailed the plan is, the more likely it is to successfully manage expectations and minimize the chance of problems arising down the road.

You may want to include a provision which requires a parent to notify the other parent if they are unable to care for the child during their scheduled time. It is also often the case that a parent wants to designate another responsible person to pick up and return the child on their behalf from schedule visitation times. If this is the case, it should be specified in the parenting plan. The more details about pick-up and drop-off specifics, the better. Go ahead and include provisions in your parenting agreement about who will pick up the child, where the child will be picked up, who will drop off the child, and where the child will be dropped off. Any confusion on these points can lead to needless frustrations and quickly breed ill will between parents already struggling to establish a semi-positive co-parenting relationship.

Family Law Attorneys

The dedicated team of family law attorneys at Navarrete & Schwartz can help you develop a parenting plan that best suits your needs and that of your loved ones. We are proud to serve the residence of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.