Parenting Plans: One Size Does Not Fit All

If you go to court to get divorced, there's a good chance—unless your spouse is abusive or otherwise not fit to parent—that you'll get the same parenting plan that many other divorced parents in Texas gets.

In the standard parenting plan, one parent is designated a custodial parent, and the other is designated the non-custodial parent. Essentially, the non-custodial parent gets the children on Thursday nights and the first, third, and fifth weekends of each month, plus 30 days during the summer, every other spring break, and Thanksgiving/New Year's Day or Christmas in alternating years.

The state has determined that plan is determined to be fair and workable for divorced parents, and for a lot of parents it is. But it's not the best plan for all parents, and yet, some parents who would prefer a different plan don't get to choose what they want because they go to court and get assigned the standard plan by the judge.

The best way to get an alternative plan into your decree is to settle your divorce out of court. There are a number of innovative ways to split parenting time, but if you leave the decree up to a judge rather than your negotiations, there's no guarantee you and your spouse will get what you want, even if you're both in agreement on that point. When you work together to settle your divorce, you're more likely to get a decree that best fits you.

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