For parents, one of the most difficult aspects of divorce is working out a plan that will help children adjust to the new family structure.
Texas encourages parents to develop a parenting plan outside of court. Mediation enables parents to work together toward this goal.
A non-adversarial approach
Litigation is the choice of many divorcing couples. However, studies show that a lengthy and often contentious court proceeding is hard on children. Physically and emotionally, they do much better when their parents communicate and show that they can negotiate a settlement agreement that is best for everyone in the family. Mediation is a non-adversarial approach to divorce during which the parties can create a parenting plan as part of their settlement agreement.
Points to include
As “joint managing conservators,” Texas parents must develop a parenting plan that is in the children’s best interests. Every such plan is unique, but basic elements include:
- a weekly visitation schedule
- how parents will handle transporting the children between homes
- which parent is responsible for making major decisions on behalf of the children
- which parent the children will spend vacations and holidays with
- how parents will communicate with the children and with each other about the children
Foundation for the future
Parents know their children better than anyone. The opportunity to create a parenting plan outside of court enables them to be flexible about their parenting responsibilities and to tailor an effective plan without having to adhere to the decisions of a judge. A customized, workable parenting plan helps build a new foundation for family life in a post-divorce world.