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What are some baseline provisions of a Texas co-parenting plan?

Language is dynamic. Once common terms and phrases get replaced by new ones as times change. What was once alimony is now commonly referred to as spousal support. Where children are concerned, what used to be called custody and visitation is often referred to as parenting plans.

Not surprisingly, parenting plans today vary according to your family's unique circumstances. From a legal perspective, nearly any arrangement is possible if both parents agree to it and if the court concurs it is in the best interests of the children. Still, the concept known as co-parenting or shared parenting is one that is growing in application. What does such a plan look like?

A parenting plan of any kind sets out the time each parent will spend with the children. While the parents' individual preferences are important, so are the preferences of children who are of an age to be able to express reasonable desires. It's useful to know that any plan you decide upon is not carved in stone. Elements can be changed as circumstances dictate – as long as all sides agree. That said; here are basic provisions that some experts recommend should be included.

  • Establish a normal schedule for a child or children to spend with each parent.
  • Identify holidays (including birthdays), vacations and school breaks and determine how to split the times.
  • Life brings change to adults and children alike. Decide now what processes you will follow to alter the plan.
  • Work out who will be responsible for deciding day-to-day matters regarding the children, and how you will determine major life issues of the child.
  • Child support needs to cover basic needs like food, clothes and health care, but consider including how costs for school supplies and extracurricular activities will be met.
  • Work out any special arrangements necessary for smooth parent exchanges of the children.

Finally, when you have questions or concerns about the protection of your rights or those of your child, consult an attorney committed to understanding your needs.

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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