Parenting Plan

Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is defined under Texas Family Code § 153.601(4) as the provisions of a final court order that:

  • set out rights and duties of a parent or a person acting as a parent in relation to the child;
  • provide for periods of possession of and access to the child, which may be the terms set out in the standard possession order under Subchapter F and any amendments to the standard possession order agreed to by the parties or found by the court to be in the best interest of the child;
  • provide for child support; and
  • optimize the development of a close and continuing relationship between each parent and the child.

Texas Family Code § 153.603(a) establishes that a final order in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship must include a parenting plan. The only exceptions to this rule are temporary orders in suits affecting the parent-child relationship, orders that only modify child support, orders that only terminate parental rights, or final orders described by Texas Family Code § 155.001(b) relating to continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.

Attorney for Parenting Plans in Houston, TX

Are you trying to work out a parenting plan as part of your divorce in Southeast Texas? You should contact [firm] for assistance accomplishing all of your child custody goals.

Houston divorce lawyer Michael Sydow represents clients in communities throughout Fort Bend County and Harris County.

Call [phone] to have our attorney review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.

Overview of Parenting Plan in Harris County

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Elements of Texas Parenting Plans

In general, a parenting plan is the formal legal document or informal plan agreed to by both parents that describes how the child or children will spend time with each parent. In most cases, a parenting plan addresses the following issues:

  • Rights and duties of each parent;
  • Weekly times child or children will spend with each parent;
  • Planned holiday or vacation custody agreements;
  • Child support; and
  • Medical support.

Parents may have any number of additional conditions or subjects that are also covered in a parenting plan, but both parties must agree to the plan in order for it to be effective. Both parties also reserve the right to modify the parenting plan, provided that both parties again agree to the changes.

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Parenting Coordinators and Facilitators in Harris County

In a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, the court can—on its own motion or on a motion or agreement of the parties—appoint a parenting coordinator, a parenting facilitator, or assign a domestic relations office under Chapter 203 of the Texas Family Code.

Both parents assist parents in resolving parenting issues, but the parenting coordinator cannot serve in any nonconfidential capacity while a parenting facilitator can.

Texas Family Code § 153.601(3) defines a parenting coordinator as an impartial third party who, regardless of the title by which the person is designated by the court, performs any function described by Texas Family Code § 153.606 in a suit and who:

  • is appointed under this subchapter by the court on its own motion or on a motion or agreement of the parties to assist parties in resolving parenting issues through confidential procedures; and
  • is not appointed under another statute or a rule of civil procedure.

Under Texas Family Code § 153.601(3-a), the same aspects largely apply to the definition of a parenting facilitator except that he or she performs any function described by Texas Family Code § 153.6061 in a suit. The two sets of duties are different.

Texas Family Code § 153.606 states that the duties of the parenting coordinator are limited to matters that will aid the parties in:

  • identifying disputed issues;
  • reducing misunderstandings;
  • clarifying priorities;
  • exploring possibilities for problem solving;
  • developing methods of collaboration in parenting;
  • understanding parenting plans and reaching agreements about parenting issues to be included in a parenting plan;
  • complying with the court’s order regarding conservatorship or possession of and access to the child;
  • implementing parenting plans;
  • obtaining training regarding problem solving, conflict management, and parenting skills; and
  • settling disputes regarding parenting issues and reaching a proposed joint resolution or statement of intent regarding those disputes.

The duties of a parenting facilitator are to be specified by the court under Texas Family Code § 153.6061. Both parenting coordinators and parenting facilitators are expected to submit final reports.

Texas Family Code § 153.608 establishes that a parenting coordinator must submit a written report to the court and to the parties as often as ordered by the court, and the report must be limited to a statement of whether the parenting coordination should continue.

Under Texas Family Code § 153.6081, the parenting facilitator must also submit a written report to the court and to the parties as ordered by the court, but that report can include a recommendation described by Texas Family Code § 153.6082(e) and any other information required by the court, except that the report may not include recommendations regarding the conservatorship of or the possession of or access to the child who is the subject of the suit.

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Parenting Plan Resources in Texas
Handbook for Noncustodial Parents | Texas Attorney General — View the full text of a Texas Office of the Attorney General handbook intended to inform noncustodial parents about paternity establishment and child support services. The guide covers ten things noncustodial parents should know about paternity and child support. The handbook also provides answers to several frequently asked questions.

Texas Family Code | Chapter 153. Conservatorship, Possession, and Access — View the full text of the chapter of the Texas Family Code relating to conservatorship. You can learn more about the standard possession order, appointment of a nonparent as a conservator, and sibling rights. You can also find information about parenting plans under Subchapter K.

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Find a Parenting Plan Lawyer in Houston, TX

If you are trying to formulate a parenting plan for your divorce in Southeast Texas, it will be in your best interest to make sure that you have legal counsel. You should contact [firm] as soon as possible.

Michael Sydow is a divorce attorney in Houston who helps individuals in communities all over Harris County and Fort Bend County.

You can have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call [phone] or complete an online contact form to take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation.

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