When a couple who has a child together wishes to end their marriage or relationship, it can lead to heated disputes over parental rights. Not all custody matters are contentious, though, and many parents are able to come to an agreement between themselves on issues such as where a child should live and who can make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. While there are benefits to developing parenting agreements, it is important for parents considering entering into one to understand what measures they should take to protect their rights. If you are in the process of determining custody of a child with your co-parent, it is advisable to meet with a lawyer to discuss your options. The knowledgeable Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group can help you to seek an agreement that is favorable to you and your child in an amicable and efficient manner.Texas Laws Regarding Parenting Agreements
The Texas courts are in favor of friendly resolutions of custody matters. As such, the law specifically provides that parties to a custody dispute can enter into a written parenting plan. Parties may develop a parenting plan through their own accord or via the process of mediation. Regardless of how cordial co-parents are with one another, though, it is in their best interest for both of them to be represented by an attorney during the process of negotiating and developing a parenting plan. Parties that are not assisted by counsel during the process run the risk of unintentionally waiving their rights, and it is often difficult to modify a parenting agreement once it has been approved by the court.
A parenting agreement can contain provisions dealing with issues such as conservatorship, which is the right to make important decisions regarding how a child will be raised, and possession and access, which is the right to spend time with a child. Parenting plans can also address issues such as child support, which parent the child will primarily reside with, how and when the parents are permitted to communicate with the child, and custody exchanges and holiday schedules. Notably, the agreement can deviate from the standard possession order that is typically entered in Texas custody cases.Approval and Enforcement of Parenting Agreements
Once an agreement is finalized, it must be presented to the court for approval. If the court finds that the plan is in the best interest of the child it pertains to, it will issue an order in accordance with the agreement. In determining whether a parenting agreement is in a child’s best interest, the court will look at many factors, including the health of the child and parents, the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs, and the child’s relationship with each parent and other members of the parent’s household. If the court finds, however, that a proposed plan is not in a child’s best interest, it might ask the parties to revise the plan and re-submit it. If they decline to do so, the court may ultimately issue its own parenting plan. The terms of the parenting agreement that is approved by the court will be incorporated by reference into the order approving the agreement. The agreement is then enforceable by all remedies that are available to enforce a judgment, including contempt.Speak to a Trusted Attorney in Dallas
Many parents are able to put their differences aside and develop a custody arrangement with regard to parenting without resorting to litigation. If you want to develop a parenting agreement with the co-parent of your child, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The trusted attorneys of McClure Law Group can aid you in seeking the best outcome possible under the circumstances. We frequently assist people with custody issues in Dallas, Garland, Richardson, McKinney, Irving, Rockwall, Fort Worth, and Frisco. We also represent people in family law disputes in cities in Dallas, Grayson, Tarrant, Denton, Collin, and Rockwall Counties. You can contact us by calling 214.692.8200 or using our online form to schedule a conference.