Parenting Plans: The Most Important Document in a Divorce
When couples begin pursuing a divorce, they quickly learn how complex their lives have become. Every possession requires analysis to determine ownership. Every loan must continue to be repaid by one spouse or the other. However, no issue in divorce is more important than the continued well-being of the children.
Each Dallas divorce attorney at GoransonBain Ausley applauds the 2005 Texas legislative change requiring parenting plans for any divorcing couples with children. We also believe that parents should work together to develop these plans. A cooperative spirit can make a tremendous difference to the entire family.
Texas Parenting Plans Follow Certain Set Standards
Parents have the chance to establish a parenting plan that meets their specific needs as long as it meets the following criteria:
- The time the children will spend with each parent, including vacation, holidays, school breaks and other important occasions
- Which parent makes daily decisions and which decisions require both parents
- Financial support issues, including everything from medical support to school supplies
- What to do when temporary or permanent changes are necessary, including how to handle a parental move to another town or state
On the surface, each one of these elements sounds relatively straightforward, but life has myriad details that parents need to consider and address. For example, consider what can happen to a clearly-defined visitation schedule when a child joins one or more extracurricular activities with busy practice schedules, or even wants to go on a weekend hiking trip with friends.
Every rule in a parenting plan is legally-binding, which is why it is so important to develop a plan for breaking rules. A good parent plan clearly defines how parents can address life’s daily changes and how they can resolve potential future conflicts — preferably without going to court.
A Well-Constructed Document Helps Children Thrive
It is hard to imagine a family life that is essentially governed by a contract. However, when parenting plans are built through a cooperative spirit between both parents, they provide important guidelines without adding unnecessary restrictions to daily life. In spite of the issues that lead to divorce, parents want the best lives for their children.
The fact is that the majority of U.S. divorces are negotiated outside of the courtroom. The attorneys at GoransonBain Ausley have extensive experience guiding families through collaborative divorce and other methods to gain flexibility and limitless solutions while overriding family conflicts. Contact us to learn about the options that can help resolve all issues of divorce and ensure the best interests of your children.
This post was written by Jeff Domen.
“As a family law attorney, it’s my responsibility to assist people who are going through the toughest time in their lives. It’s my job to use my God-given creativity and advocacy to offer hope, peace of mind and encouragement.” – Jeff Domen