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Fort Worth Child Custody Lawyer Explains Texas Parenting Plan

Texas parenting plans and agreements are governed by laws outlined in the Texas Family Code and are best interpreted by a Fort Worth Child Custody Lawyer. In the event that you must come up with a parenting plan for your children, we’ve outlined a basic guide with key factors to consider.

What to include

 As you design your parenting plan, it would be wise to seek counsel from a Fort Worth child custody lawyer.  A qualified expert will be able to walk you through special considerations for your case, as well as give you detailed information about how to design a mutually beneficial plan.

In general, your plan should include:

  • Which conservator has the right to determine the child’s primary residence
  • A possession and access schedule that details visitation rights for each parent
  • Each parent’s rights and responsibilities in relation to medical care, monetary support, and education
  • How decisions regarding the child will be made
  • A detailed plan showing how the child will be taken care of
  • A plan to resolve disputes without going back to court

The plan you submit to the courts will depend largely on whether you are planning for joint or sole managing conservatorship.

Joint managing conservatorship

Joint managing conservatorship is when both parents share responsibility for decisions regarding the child. A joint conservatorship can either be agreed upon by the parents or ordered by the courts.  This parenting plan will consider:

  • If the child is 12 or older, the plan will include their preference for their primary residence
  • How involved each parent has been in the child’s upbringing
  • How close the parents live to each other
  • If both parents are able to support positive child-parent relationships with the other parent
  • If the child is most benefited by joint conservatorship

As a joint parenting plan is arranged, you will want to consult with your child custody lawyer. Fort Worth offers a myriad of resources for parents seeking counsel when creating parenting plans and agreements.

Sole managing conservatorship

In the event that one parent is awarded sole custody, the parenting plan will outline the rights and responsibilities of the primary conservator and the managing conservator.

The primary sole conservator has the right to:

  • Choose the child’s permanent residence
  • Consent to medical procedures
  • Consent to therapy and counseling
  • Consent to military enlistment
  • Consent to child entering into marriage
  • Receive monetary child care from the managing conservator

The managing conservator will be awarded visitation and information on the child based on the approved parenting plan. These provisions could include:

  • Medical records
  • Education records
  • Access to child’s school functions and athletic events
  • A visitation schedule
  • Consent to medical procedures

Factors determining joint vs. sole conservatorship

 As the courts review the proposed parenting plan, they will take many factors into consideration.  If the courts decide that the proposed plan is not in the best interest of the child, they have the right to revise or rewrite the plan according to the child’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being. 

 If you and the other parent cannot agree on a plan, the courts may order you to seek counsel with a Fort Worth child custody lawyer for mediation.  They may also order counseling from a mental health professional.

The court’s approved parenting plan will consider the following factors:

  • Preference of the parents
  • Preference of the child
  • Mental, emotional, and physical health of the parents
  • Mental, emotional, and physical health of the child
  • Which parent can meet a child’s special needs, if there are any
  • Each parent’s ability to create a safe, healthy, positive home environment
  • Each parent’s ability to provide clothing, shelter, and other material needs
  • Other people living in the parent’s residence, and their effect on the child
  • The child’s siblings or other relatives
  • History of abuse, addiction, or other harmful behavior of the parent
  • How relocation would affect the child
  • General relationship between the child and each parent

The final decision

The courts are required to create a plan that satisfies three stipulations of the Texas parenting plan:

  • Provide an environment that is safe, stable, and free from violence for the child
  • Provide ample time to create loving, nurturing relationships with capable parents
  • Encourage a mutually-beneficial parenting plan with as many shared rights as possible

If your spouse, or ex-spouse, is unable to create a reasonable parenting plan with youHealth Fitness Articles, please seek qualified counsel from a Fort Worth child custody Lawyer.  An attorney well-versed in family law will have the expertise to advise you on the best living arrangements for you and your child.

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Are you ready to begin your parenting plan? Contact V. Wayne Ward, Fort Worth’s top-rated Child Custody Attorney, to ensure a healthy future for your child. 

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