Parenting Plan Attorney in Houston
Helping Parents Achieve Fair Custody Arrangements
One of the most contentious issues between divorcing parents is how to divide time with the children. Custody battles clog the courts and take an emotional toll on all involved. In an attempt to lessen the dissension, Texas legislators enacted Family Code, Section 153, which covers the parent-child relationship following a divorce and encourages parents to work together to develop their own parenting plan. The ultimate deciding factor is always the children’s best interests.
At the Law Offices of Frank E. Mann, P.C., we represent parents who need help negotiating fair parenting plans that reflect their own best interests as well as those of their children. Our Houston parenting plan lawyer has decades of family law and child custody experience to put to work for you.
Call us at (713) 903-8112 to request a free case evaluation with our firm.
Texas Laws Governing Parenting Plans
Section 153 specifically articulates Texas’ public policy concerning parenting plans.
It states that:
- Parents who are able to act in the best interest of the children should have frequent and continuing contact with them.
- Parents need to provide a safe and stable environment for their children.
- Parents are encouraged to share in the “rights and duties of raising their child” even after separation and divorce.
- Courts may not make custody and visitation contingent upon the payment of child support.
Establishing a Parenting Plan
Parents in Texas have the right to arrange their own parenting plan. Our parenting plan lawyer in Houston can review your situation and help you create a fair and enforceable plan. Keep in mind that parents who have a history of child abuse, neglect, or domestic violence will not be allowed to have joint conservatorship or primary possession. The court also takes seriously any false charge of child abuse or sexual abuse.
If parents cannot come to their own agreement, Texas Code, Section 153, Subchapter F has a standard parenting plan the court will use. Among other things, it provides for one parent to have primary possession during the school year while the other parent has access to the children on weekends and one or two evenings during the week.
Requirements of Mutually Agreed Upon Parenting Plans
The Office of the Texas Attorney General has published a Co-Parenting Guide to assist parents in formulating their parenting plans.
Parents must agree on:
- A normal possession and access schedule for the children to spend time with each parent. Some children need the security of a home base even if they spend equal time at each parent’s home.
- How to divide vacation, school breaks, and holiday time between the parents. Consider extra-curricular events the children are involved in. Although consistency in the schedule is important, it is also important to be flexible to accommodate an important event in which a child wants to participate.
- How changes to the plan will be made and whether the changes are temporary or permanent.
- How day-to-day and more important issues will be decided.
- How costs like school supplies and those for extracurricular activities will be handled.
- How children will be transported from one parent’s house to the other.
- How to resolve future conflicts without court intervention.
If parents are having trouble agreeing on a plan, the court may order them to meet with a mediator or parenting coordinator if it appears that will assist the parents in completing a plan without court intervention. If the parents do agree, their written plan will be submitted to the court. If the court approves it, it then becomes the court order. There are times when the court may return the plan to the parents with suggestions for changes before approving it.
Contact Us for Help with Parenting Plan Negotiations
At the Law Offices of Frank E. Mann, P.C., we have over 33 years of experience negotiating custody, visitation, and parenting plans in Houston. We know how important your children are to you; don’t proceed to a parenting plan hearing without a lawyer who can look after your best interests.