Providing Creative Solutions and Meticulous Preparation in all Areas of Law
Shared Parenting Issues? Contact a McKinney Child Custody Lawyer for Help
In many situations, shared parenting can provide benefits for both parents and children after a divorce. In a shared parenting arrangement, each parent has substantially-equal rights with regard to managing and possessory conservatorship (commonly referred to as “custody” and “parenting time”), and the parents are able to maintain open lines of communication to make joint decisions in the best interests of their children.
Information About Shared Parenting in Texas
If you are interested in developing a shared parenting plan as part of your divorce, there are some important things you need to know. First, while Texas law generally favors custody arrangements that allow children to spend meaningful time with both parents, a shared parenting bill died in the Texas legislature in mid-2017. As a result, while shared parenting is an option, it is not as clearly recognized in Texas as it is in some other states.
Second, in order to create and maintain an effective shared parenting relationship, both parents need to be committed to the arrangement. Your custody agreement should be as clear and comprehensive as possible, but you also need to be prepared to deal with unexpected situations as they arise. The means for resolving any parenting-related disagreements can (and generally should) be addressed in custody agreements as well, and you will want to make sure that you and your spouse address all key issues before submitting your agreement to the divorce court for final approval.
Some of the other types of issues our attorneys help parents address when preparing shared parenting agreements include:
- Your Children’s Residence(s) – Where will your child live? In shared parenting cases, it is common for children to split time equally between both parents’ homes. Will this work with your child’s school and afterschool activities? Will your children be able to spend adequate time with their friends, and will they be able to adjust to regularly living in two separate homes?
- Transportation and Related Expenses – Who will be responsible for pick-ups and drop-offs at each parent’s home? What about at school? Will you each cover your own transportation and other child-related expenses? Or, do you need to include specific provisions in your agreement to avoid disagreements down the line?
- Decisions about Extracurricular Activities – If your child wants to participate in an extracurricular activity on an ongoing basis, how will you decide whether to let your child participate? What if one parent’s schedule works with the activity but the other’s does not? Who will cover the costs for participating in the activity (including registration fees, equipment and travel)?
- Travel and Holidays – How will you address vacation travel (i.e. what if one parent wants to take a trip that extends into the other’s parenting time)? How will you divide the holidays?
- Other Decisions Affecting both Parents’ Parenting Time – From Internet access and video games to health care, summer camps and curfews, there are numerous other issues that must be addressed when developing a shared parenting plan as well.
Contact the Family Law Attorneys at Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC
If you are interested in learning more about shared parenting, we encourage you to contact us for a free initial consultation. Our attorneys have years of experience representing parents throughout North Texas, and we can help you make informed decisions focused on protecting your children’s best interests. To schedule an appointment, please call our McKinney, TX law offices at (214) 726-1450, or tell us how we can help online and we will be in touch shortly.