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Parenting plan challenges for non-custodial parents

Although some Texas parents are able to put their differences aside to ensure that a post-divorce transition is as seamless as possible for their kids, there are situations in which a custodial parent might use their position to lash out at the other party. Meanwhile, the non-custodial party might face an uphill battle in requesting favors such as extra parenting time or the right to participate in certain activities. Although joint legal custody is often awarded in such family law matters, the individual with primary physical custody may use inaccurate interpretations of a parenting plan to hinder an ex-spouse's involvement with their child.

In some cases, a custodial parent might negate requests for extra time out of a sense of insecurity. In other cases, there may be a clear misunderstanding of the terms in a parenting plan. For example, a parent who has joint legal custody should be able to attend doctor's appointments or parent-teacher conferences, but the parent with primary physical custody is typically the individual who schedules these activities. Because a parenting plan might not clearly require one party to inform the other of these instances, one parent might justify their lack of communication with the other.

Patterns could be established early in the implementation of a parenting plan, and as time passes, it can be difficult to make changes to how certain activities and information are handled. At the same time, a parent may want to avoid creating further stress for their children in the early days after divorce. However, it may be important to exercise one's rights early in the process to ensure that a pattern is established for the future.

If a parent finds that their ex-spouse is refusing to honor the terms of a child custody agreement, it may be necessary to seek assistance in having the matter legally enforced. This can be a need for either party based on situations such as disregard of visitation schedules.

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