Although divorce can create stress for all members of a Texas family, a parenting plan can help to provide some stability by acting as a guide when doubts or conflicts later arise. Divorce’s emotional elements can take years to resolve, and conflict between parents can be particularly hard on children. However, the implementation of a carefully composed parenting plan allows for disputes to be weighed against the terms decided in court or through mediation.
Joint legal custody provides for both parents to be involved in important decisions involving a child. Being able to manage these situations with minimal conflict from early in the process can facilitate a better transition that will support positive interactions with the children into their adult lives. Issues such as relocation or remarriage for one or both parents could occur, and including provisions for these situations in a parenting plan can minimize the need to return to court for a modification at a later date.
If a parent begins to ignore the terms of a parenting plan, there could be a need to return to court to address serious issues. However, it could be helpful to produce a copy of the plan in such a case to provide the offending party with a reminder of the terms, which could help to resolve any problems without further litigation.
A custody dispute can be frustrating and costly, which makes it helpful for parents to consider alternatives such as mediation or collaborative divorce. However, a contentious divorce might present challenges if one parent refuses to negotiate the terms of custody, parenting time, or child support. In such a situation, litigation could be the only option for obtaining an objective decision about these matters.