If you and your child’s other parent need to draft a parenting plan as an element of your broader child custody order, it is important that you do not rush this drafting process. Parenting agreements are legally binding contracts that are enforceable in the event of a breach. As a result, you will need to make sure that your approach is manageable, reasonable, and sustainable before you finalize your mutually-agreeable terms.

Thinking Critically from Multiple Angles

When preparing to draft your parenting agreement, you will want to do some brainstorming. Open a Word doc or get out a notepad and start by listing all of your questions and concerns about how your arrangement will work practically. Do not censor yourself or focus on structure quite yet. Empty your brain onto paper so that later, you can return to each of these pressing thoughts in turn and make sure that your concerns and questions are adequately addressed before you finalize your agreement.

Next, make lists of the following considerations that will need to be addressed in some fashion during the drafting process:

  • Your child’s needs, including those that concern education, extracurriculars, medical care, travel, transportation, time with each parent, time with extended family, maintaining other close relationships, holidays, special occasions, and comfort items/particularly important possessions.
  • Any of your own needs that may impact your ability to co-parent in a reliable yet flexible way, including those related to employment, medical conditions, transportation challenges, finances, obligations to extended family, etc.
  • Any of your co-parent’s needs that may impact their ability to co-parent

Setting Reliable, Yet Flexible Expectations

Once you have clearly evaluated everyone’s needs and the potential hurdles that could keep you and your co-parent from navigating your situation in a manageable, sustainable way, it will be time to start drafting some parenting time language. Your attorney can help you to refine and finalize it, so for now, just focus on getting your main priorities outlined.

As you are assessing how to best approach your co-parenting arrangements, make sure that your expectations are detailed enough to give everyone a solid foundation upon which they can plan. Life is full of surprises. If you phrase expectations in ways that account for a reasonable need for flexibility, you and your co-parent will be much more likely to honor your obligations.

Connect with a Creative and Dedicated Dallas Child Custody Lawyer Today to Learn More

It is not always easy to construct a parenting agreement that honors your child’s best interests and will be manageable for you and your co-parent. Thankfully, the reputable team of Dallas, TX child custody lawyers at Clark Law Group is here to help. Our extensive experience assisting families with a host of unique needs has rendered our team uniquely capable of helping co-parents with the parenting agreement construction process.

To get started, you can fill out a contact form on our website or you can call us at 469-906-2266. Once we understand the ins and outs of your family situation and your co-parenting goals, we can provide you with the personalized, professional legal guidance that you will need to make informed decisions. We look forward to speaking with you.