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School requirements may affect parenting plans

Divorced parents in Texas know that their children need to feel secure. The courts make every effort to do that when approving plans for parenting. However, these can be affected by extraneous events such as the requirements imposed by the school year. Having a parenting plan that takes this into account helps everyone.

It is important to have a parenting plan that is doable and one with which everyone can comply. For instance, the parenting schedule may involve a child staying part of the week with each parent and alternating weekends. The problem comes with making sure that textbooks and clothing are available throughout the week. Without both parents agreeing on an arrangement to see the child through the week without stress, school days might be difficult for everyone and cause contention.

When allocating the time each parent gets to spend with a child, the court looks at how well the parents communicate and can reach agreement on shared time. Parents who are sharing a child during the weekdays may wish to each keep school clothing at their homes. Since children are sometimes forgetful, it might be a good idea to keep separate sets of books, which avoids one parent having to retrieve a forgotten book at the last minute.

Courts prefer that parents structure a parenting plan themselves. When this does not happen, the court will decide how time will be shared, even though the court's plan may not be agreeable to either parent. Working with an attorney may help. The attorney might negotiate features of a parenting plan that assists in providing the structure children need and that fits within the scope of a parent's work schedule. If a parent's or child's schedule changes, the parent may petition the court for a modification to accommodate this.

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