No one plans for divorce, but everyone must prepare for the aftermath.
A parenting plan can insulate families from falling into total chaos post-divorce. It is a legally binding agreement that typically outlines custody arrangements, visitation schedules, communication procedures and other significant considerations in raising the child.
Knowing what goes into a parenting plan is only the first step. The next crucial stage is to create it in a way that caters to the family’s unique needs, promotes the child’s best interests and prevents future conflicts.
How to construct an effective parenting plan
An effective parenting plan is the foundation of an amicable co-parenting relationship. No matter how difficult, both parties must find a common ground to ensure the plan is clear, comprehensive, coordinated, concessional and changeable.
- Use precise and understandable language. Vague stipulations lead to misinterpretations.
- Exhaust all possible scenarios. Be thorough with the details and include exceptions.
- If additional terms or revisions are necessary, never leave a parent in the dark. Keep interactions at the minimum, but reach out for updates.
- Be flexible enough to compromise and make reasonable accommodations if it is for the child’s sake.
- As the child ages and the parents’ circumstances evolve, the provisions should have enough room for growth. There must be a certain degree of leeway when changes occur, so as not to immediately resort to litigation.
When the court finds that the agreed parenting plan promotes the child’s well-being, it enforces it as part of the final divorce order. Thus, parents must ensure that the submitted plan positions their children to thrive and not merely survive.
Why a plan designed to last is critical
A parenting plan must strike a balance between giving the child a sense of stability and anticipating potential adjustments. While modifications are often inevitable, parents can still try to reduce them. Doing so can save their time, financial resources and emotional stability. A Texas counsel committed to working toward pragmatic solutions can protect their rights and their child’s welfare.