Clearing up Common Myths and Misunderstandings

Intended for Students of Our Udemy Class:  Understanding your Texas parenting Plan.

A little education will take you a long way when you begin to understand the terms that the law typically requires to be included in a standard order.


Standard Order

The first thing you need to understand about your parenting plan is that there is standard language your lawyers typically refer to when drafting parenting plans.  The standard language is based upon parents rights as set forth under the Texas Family Code.

After this class has concluded ask to see your attorney if the proposed parenting plan in your case is a “Standard parenting plan.”  If your lawyer is telling you that there are custom terms included ask what has been modified and why.

So lets begin…..

myths vs. facts

Common Myths and Misunderstandings

It is common to hear about celebrities going to court and getting “sole custody” of their children.  Many parents believe that can walk into their attorney’s office and have them ask the court for sole custody of their child.

sole custody

#1 Common Myth:  

I can petition the court for Sole Custody in a Texas Court

In Texas there is no such thing as “sole custody.”  The law presumes that the parents are joint managing conservators.  The term alone infers scenarios that the law did not intend.

In Texas the law presumes that parents are appointed joint managing conservators.  For purposes of this discussion we are going to operate under that presumption when addressing the rights and duties typicall included in a standard parenting plan.

split kid


#2 Common Myth:

Joint Managing Conservator means that parents have equal periods of time with their children after a divorce.

Joint Managing Conservatorship does not mean that you and your child’s other parent have SPLIT custody of the child.    Joint managing conservatorship has to do with management rights and duties to a child.  If you think “joint management” of a child you will understand the next pages of a standard parenting plan that include many EQUAL and INDEPENDENT rights to your child.


#3. Common Myth

My divorce affects my ability to parent my child.

The standard parenting plan included in your divorce decree does not, by itself, strip a parent of their rights and duties over a child.  Most of the rights and duties in a standard parenting plan refer to equal and independent rights.

There are certain rights that are exclusive of course.  One parent typically afforded the exclusive right to establish the residence of the child.  That child typically also has the exclusive right to receive child support.

While the standard parenting plan has many equal and independent rights.  It is up to the parents to ask their attorneys and the court to modify the standard language.  Make sure to see which of your rights are exclusive, independent, or are subject to you conferring with your child’s other parent.  Remember also that some rights may be pursuant to a joint agreement of the parties.


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