If you and your spouse are facing divorce, your primary concerns will revolve around the welfare of your children, and the court may order you to create a parenting plan.
If the two of you cannot agree on key points, or if the plan you create is not in the best interests of the children, the court will intervene. However, teamwork through mediation is often the best route to parenting plan success.
How Texas courts view child custody
In deciding child custody or visitation orders, a judge must adhere to the standard regarding the best interests of the child. This means basing decisions on the physical, mental and emotional needs of children whose parents are divorcing. The court encourages teamwork to create a parenting plan that establishes a schedule for each parent to follow in order to spend ample time with the children.
What your plan should include
Every parenting plan is unique, but basic components include:
- Parenting schedules and custody exchange plans
- Decision-making regarding education, healthcare, religious upbringing and other major topics
- Holidays, vacations, birthdays and other events and which parent will have custody during those times
- Expenses and who is responsible for different child-raising costs, such as clothing, medical bills and extracurricular activities
Why teamwork matters
When you develop a parenting plan with the guidance of a mediator, you are assured that the plan contains all the components the court will expect to see. Most of all, you can be proud that even in view of the upcoming divorce, teamwork between you and the other parent has resulted in a plan that is workable for everyone concerned.