Texas divorced parents who run into parenting disputes have a number of options for resolving them. Going to court over every dispute is rarely a good idea because judges do not want to micromanage parents' relationships with their children or decisions over issues such as children's activities. In fact, the first step for parents should be to try to talk to one another about the problem.
If this is unsuccessful, there are a number of ways that parents can seek outside help in negotiating a solution. For example, while judges are no longer permitted to order a couple to work with a co-parenting coordinator, a couple can work with one on their own. A co-parenting coordinator makes decisions about smaller parenting issues such as times of exchange or activities. Another option is a parenting counselor who can work with the parents in a therapeutic way to resolve conflict.
Mediation is another option. This involves working with parents to find a compromise and can cover a range of issues both small and large. Parents can bring in their attorneys to make a binding legal agreement. Parents might also consider collaborative law. This involves hiring collaborative attorneys and pledging to not use litigation. They might also hire a child specialist or other expert to advise.
Parents should keep in mind that if they lose a job and cannot pay child support, plan to move out of state or have other major life changes that will affect custody, visitation and support, they need to get a modification of their legal agreement. Smaller issues, such as who will attend parent-teacher conferences, holidays plans and children's activities, might be dealt with in the parenting agreement. The parenting agreement might also anticipate and make a plan for any conflict between the parents that does arise.