How Does a Parenting Plan Work in Texas?

If you are new to Texas or have limited experience with family law, you should understand a few key terms. For instance, many states divide child custody into legal custody and physical custody. Texas, too, has two different categories of custody, but they are called something entirely different:

  • Conservatorship
  • Possession & Access 

Having conservatorship grants you the ability to make decisions for the child regarding medical treatment, religion, and education. Other states commonly refer to this as legal custody. This can be shared by two parents.

Possession and access encompass the physical custody of the child, where they live, and how they split their time between parents. 

The Parenting Plan

If you and your spouse have children, you will need to develop a parenting plan. During a divorce, you and your spouse will have to come to terms with how you distribute assets, manage debts, and custody of your children. All of these decisions will be documented.

The parenting plan is the formal declaration of the rights and responsibilities for each legal document parent. For example, it will outline child support, where the child resides, and who can make decisions on behalf of the child. Your attorney can be a significant help with this. It can be a very detailed document that includes things from pick-up and drop-off times to spending holidays with the children.

Can My Plan Be Modified? 

Yes, it can be. However, some processes must exist to ensure that the changes are in the best interests of your child. A common myth is that when a child reaches a designated age, they can choose where they live. 

A better (and more accurate way) of phrasing that is when a child reaches the age of 12, then they have a right to have their wishes heard by a judge. The critical piece here is that a court will consider and listen, but it does not have to grant the child’s request. Another way for the plan to be modified is that the parents both want it to change. The court will still ensure that your modification fits the child’s needs. 

The last two ways it can be modified is if the primary caretaker (where the child lives) gives up possession of the child for six months or more. Lastly, if you can demonstrate to the court that there has been a significant change in circumstances for either you, the child, or their parents, then you can petition to have the parenting plan amended. 

Amsberry Law

At Amsberry Law, we are committed to your success long after your family law case has been resolved. Since 1995, we’ve been helping people like you overcome some of the most challenging times in their lives. To discover what we can do for you, contact Amsberry Law to schedule your free consultation.

The following two tabs change content below.

Amsberry Law Firm

The Amsberry Law Firm, founded in 1995, has helped thousands of clients overcome their unique legal challenges.

Latest posts by Amsberry Law Firm (see all)