Making It Work For You and Your Children
Creating a plan for conservatorship and visitation is an important step when working to finalize a divorce. Figuring out who has possession of a child on what days seems like a challenge, especially if your relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse is getting more challenging. However, creating a parenting plan that works for both of you can be done by following some key steps.
Use Your Attorney Throughout the Process
Your attorney should act as the gatekeeper in all negotiations and should draw up the paperwork in order to meet the legal requirements. It would be very unwise to act alone throughout the custody process, as one mistake could prove costly.
Put Your Child’s Needs First
Texas custody (or conservatorship) decisions are made based on what meets the best interest of a child standard. In fact, Texas law requires that any custody agreement must serve the best interests of a child. It is important that when negotiating a parenting plan you keep this standard in mind; any agreement that does not show itself to meet a child’s best interests will likely not be given approval.
Be Willing to Communicate and Compromise
Texas courts prefer that parents work out a parenting plan on their own without having to resort to the court creating one for them. In order to successfully achieve this, it is important that you and your ex-spouse communicate with one another about your desires for the child and a schedule.
You should go into negotiation with the understanding that you may not achieve all of your goals for the parenting plan. In addition, moments may come up in the future where the parenting plan has one provision in place but it cannot be met for whatever extenuating circumstances. Being willing to be flexible and compromise on key issues can help the parenting plan be implemented more effectively and can reduce the possibility of headaches down the road.
A successful parenting plan is thoroughly planned out meeting all required elements, such as weekends, holidays, midweek visits, pickup and dropoff locations and times, and other items. Failing to plan something could cause problems in the future, so taking the time to think through and list out all necessary provisions in a parenting plan can help prevent that from happening.
As you have your attorney assist you throughout this process, you should work with them to ensure that your parenting plan encompasses everything that it should. Their legal expertise makes thoroughness much more possible.
Plan All Options Possible
In sticking with the theme of flexibility, it’s important to think ahead of other options for key parenting plan provisions. For example, it’s very normal for a custody exchange between parents to take place at a school or daycare facility. Sometimes, however, circumstances may render that location impossible to get to for one or both parents. In that situation, having an alternate pickup and drop-off point accessible can create a barrier that prevents some difficult situations from happening.
Be Reasonable and Kind
One helpful provision that can be put in a parenting plan is a clause that prevents both parents from badmouthing one another or their families, especially when the child is around. A child should not have to feel as if they are in the middle of a war between their parents and certainly shouldn’t feel like they have to choose between mom or dad. Reasonable behavior despite a challenging divorce can go a long way both personally and in court.
Utilize the Help of an Attorney
Perhaps most important, it is crucial that you work with an attorney throughout the entirety of the process. They can handle negotiations with your spouse’s attorney and can ensure that the agreement meets both your needs and the best interests of your child. At Burrows Law Group, we understand how important it is to have as much time with your child as possible, which is why we’re here to help you.
To schedule a consultation, call us at (972) 236-7798 or visit us online.