Custody Arrangements in a Texas Divorce
What if we agree about custody and visitation?
If you and the other parent have already come to a fair agreement on the custody and visitation issue, you may want to write your own "stipulation" and consent order. A "stipulation" is a statement describing the agreement that you have reached. A consent order is a draft for the judge to sign if s/he agrees to accept your agreement. this means that the court can enforce the agreement in the future.
If you choose to go this route, you and the other parent should be as specific as you can to avoid future conflicts. You should ask yourself, who has legal custody? Which holiday does the child spend with you? What time and where may the other parent pick the child up? What time should the child be returned home? What is the procedure to follow if either of you are running late and won't be there on time? How much notice should you be given if they are planning a vacation? How far away may the other spouse move? What you might think you can figure out as you go along could actually blow up into a full scale war later. The Stipulations should state everything that you have agreed upon. You should not rely on any oral promises. If you both agreed on it, write it down (no matter how trivial it may seem now).
Technology offers some innovative and creative ways for parents separated from their children to connect. "Virtual" visitation is coming to be recognized by the courts as a potentially important way to supplement in-person visits.(back to top)
Software for Parenting Plans and Custody Agreements
Single parents use KidsFirst! web-based software to create quick and easy legal documents to file in court and share an online co-parenting calendar. The Custody Agreement is for decisions about housing and co-parenting schedules. The Parenting Plan is for decisions about healthcare, education, religion, communication, safety, travel, childcare/daycare, drugs/alcohol, sports/activities, and much more. When signed by the judge, these documents become a court order and any violation is against the law.