Parenting Plans in Texas

What is a Texas Parenting Plan?

Parenting plans are legally binding documents that divide parental roles, responsibilities, and rights between divorcing couples. These plans are created to ensure that the child or children involved have their best interests at heart throughout the divorce process. The State of Texas requires that any proposed parenting plan contain nine essential elements, including provisions related to physical custody arrangements and legal decision-making authority. Parenting plans must also address co-parent communication techniques as well as financial support for the child or children involved. They are also known as “Joint Parenting Agreements,” “Parenting Agreements,” or “Parenting Judgments”.

Crafting an Effective Parenting Plan

When parents decide to separate, crafting an effective parenting plan is essential in ensuring that the children’s needs are met. A parenting plan should be tailored to each family and its specific needs, as well as provide guidance on how the two parents will continue to co-parent their children.

Developing a successful parenting plan is more than just deciding which parent the child will live with and when they will visit. It should also provide detailed information about how both households will handle major decisions like health care choices, education decisions, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. Parents should remember that it’s important for both of them to have input in all areas of their child’s life regardless of their living arrangements. When creating this document, there are several key factors to consider including communication methods (phone calls or emails), transportation responsibilities, health insurance coverage, and holiday plans.

Determining Custody and Visitation Rights

Determining custody and visitation rights is a difficult process for parents going through a divorce or separation. With emotions running high, couples must find a way to make decisions about time-sharing, decision-making authority, and how to handle holidays and special occasions. To ensure both parents are taken into account in the process, it’s important that they create an effective parenting plan.

A parenting plan outlines the details of child custody, visitation rights, and parenting responsibilities in writing so that both parties agree on each point. This document should include specific information on where children will live, which parent will have legal custody or primary residency, details of any shared physical custody arrangements, provisions for transportation during exchanges, communication expectations between parents when children are not around them as well as plans for holidays/special occasions.

Creating a Co-Parenting Agreement

Creating a co-parenting agreement is essential for parents who are separated or divorced. A parenting plan, also known as a co-parenting agreement, gives both parents an opportunity to share the responsibilities of raising their children. It is important that both parents work together to create a mutually beneficial parenting plan so they can continue to provide support and stability for their children despite the divorce.

A good parenting plan should include details such as child custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and communication policies. It should also outline who will be responsible for various aspects of childcare such as medical care, education, and extra-curricular activities. Additionally, it should cover how disputes between parents will be handled and how changes in circumstances will affect the agreement.

Writing up a comprehensive co-parenting agreement takes time and effort but can help minimize conflict between parties in the long run.

Enforcing Parenting Plan Rules

When it comes to parenting plans, Texas families need to be proactive in enforcing the rules. With a legal agreement in place, both parents are required to adhere to the terms set forth. Parenting plans detail how much time each parent will spend with their children, as well as how decisions around their health and well-being should be made. It is important for parents to make sure they are following through on the agreed-upon plan so that their family can remain healthy and stress-free.

If one or both of the parents violates any part of the parenting plan, there can be consequences. In Texas, enforcement of parenting plans may involve mediation or court orders if needed. Parents must take responsibility for abiding by all parts of the agreement and any disputes should be addressed quickly in order to minimize further disruption for everyone involved – especially the children.

Modifying Your Parenting Plan

For Texas parents dealing with divorce or custody issues, modifying their parenting plan can be a necessity. In some cases, it may be due to changes in the family dynamic – such as one parent taking on a new job or relocating. In other cases, the modification may be necessary because of a change in the children’s needs as they grow and develop. Whatever the reason for wanting to modify your parenting plan, there are steps you need to take in order to ensure that both parties are legally protected.

The first step is to file an agreement with your co-parent about how you want the parenting plan modified. This document should include all relevant details, such as which days each parent has visitation rights and any special arrangements that need to be made for holidays or other occasions when parental duties shift.

What should be included in a parenting plan?

A parenting plan is an essential component of any divorce process in which there are minor children involved. It outlines the tasks and responsibilities each parent will take during and after the divorce process. A good parenting plan must provide a safe, stable, healthy environment for the children and should be tailored to fit their individual needs.

There are several items that should be included in a comprehensive parenting plan. First, it should define legal and physical custody arrangements as well as visitation rights for each parent. Second, it should include details about how decisions will be made regarding the child’s education, health care, and religious upbringing. Third, it should address matters such as when parents can communicate with one another or how they will handle holidays and special occasions with the child(ren).

Parenting Time, also known as a Visitation Schedule. This agreement should include the regular schedule, as well as when each parent has parenting time during school breaks, holidays, and summer vacations. The plan should be detailed, defining when a holiday starts and ends, and who is responsible for transportation at the beginning and end of the non-custodial parent’s parenting time.

Payments. In divorce cases, financial matters are generally handled in what is known as a “Marital Settlement Agreement.” However, in cases where the parents were never married, financial matters should be addressed in a parenting agreement. This agreement should include activities, education, child care, and medical and dental insurance.

Procedures for Changes and Notifications. A parenting plan is not static, as children get older and life happens, the parenting plan may become outdated. An agreement should provide guidance on how a parent will notify the other parent when there are changes in jobs, addresses, phone numbers, school activities, and life events.

Residential Custody. The parenting plan should specify who is designated as the residential parent. This is the parent the child spends more than 50% of the time with. If the parents split their parenting time 50/50, one parent should still be designated as the residential custodian for school district purposes.

Legal Custody. The parenting plans should specify whether the parties have joint custody or whether one parent has sole custody. Joint custody requires the parties to consider each other’s opinions on major issues, such as healthcare, education, and religious training. Sole custody does not require an agreement for the major decisions.

Right to Information. The parenting plans should specify that both parents have the right to school records, medical records, and notice of all parent-teacher conferences and extracurricular activities.

Dispute Resolution. Joint custody requires that the parties attempt mediation before resorting to litigation. The parenting plan should specify the procedure for resolving disputes to prevent litigation.

Removal. Parties agree on not moving the child out of state without the consent of the other party or court order. Some parties negotiate a mileage distance for how far the custodial parent can move with the child before coming to court.

Basic Behavior. The parenting plan can include various instructions for how the parents and third parties must behave around the child. For example, the child should never be used as a messenger for conversations that should be had by the parents and the parents should never speak poorly of the other parent in front of the child and should not allow third parties to do so, either.

There are a lot of basic elements in a parenting plan that will be similar from agreement to agreement, much of it is an explanation of your legal rights and responsibilities. However, the details of your parenting plan will be negotiated and drafted to best suit your family’s individual circumstances.

Decisions are made by those who show-up.

~~President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing.

Working with Professionals During the Parenting Planning Process

When it comes to parenting planning, working with professionals can be a great way to ensure that your family is well-prepared for the journey ahead. Professional services like legal advice, financial planning, and mental health support can help parents create an effective plan to ensure the best outcome for their family’s future.

Working with professionals during the parenting planning process is essential in creating the foundation of a strong family dynamic. Qualified experts will assist in creating a custody agreement that takes into consideration both parents’ needs and rights as well as those of any children involved. It can also help create a comprehensive financial plan so families are prepared for unexpected changes or situations down the line. Additionally, mental health professionals provide valuable insight into how separation or divorce may affect not just parents but children too, helping them cope with difficult transitions and events more easily.


A Texas Parenting Plan is a great tool to help divorced parents reach an agreement about child custody and visitation. It can be used both in court and out of court, allowing parents to come up with an arrangement that works best for them and their child. Not only does it make the process of creating a parenting plan easier, but it also provides the legal guidance necessary to ensure that the plan will be accepted by the court.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *