Joint Custody And Parenting Agreements

Dallas Joint Custody Lawyers

“I had the privilege of having Stephen Clark represent me in my child custody case in Collin County. Stephen was very professional and he and his assistant were always very quick to respond to any concerns and questions that I had. Stephen first met me in his office on a holiday weekend to discuss my stressful situation. As much as I hated giving him weekly updates of the chaos in my life, he always listened and knew what to say to calm me down. Stephen made the most difficult time in my life bearable, and for that I am forever thankful. He did what was in the best interest of my daughter and now I am happy to say that I have peace in my daily routine.”


Texas family law provides for two general classifications of child custody or conservatorship: sole conservatorship, where a single parent has both the physical custody and the decision making rights regarding the child or children, and joint legal custody, where the parents share decision making rights in the raising of the child. When parents have joint legal custody the Court will establish a parenting agreement that lays out the various aspects of raising the child, establishing the rights and duties of both parents, including:

  • Which parent has the right to choose the child’s primary residence.
  • How decision making responsibilities will be shared.
  • Each parent’s responsibilities with the child’s physical care, support, and education.
  • Possession and Access (visitation) schedules.
  • Guidelines for the care of the child.
  • A non-judicial dispute resolution plan.

While the parents are able to draft their own parenting agreement, the Court will have the final say as to if the parenting agreement will become the Court’s Order, or if changes will be required. This is usually a fairly straightforward process as long as the parents take into consideration the three public policy guidelines set forth by the State of Texas:

  • The plan must provide a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment for the child.
  • The plan must give children frequent and continuing contact with fit parents.
  • The plan must allow the parents to share the rights and duties that come with raising a child.

Physical Custody

Even in cases where the parents are awarded joint legal custody, the matter of which parent will retain physical custody of the child is often a major issue. A parent can have joint legal custody and still only be able to see their child sporadically, such as alternating weekends and partial time during holidays and the summers. In cases where one of the parents is in a different physical location a significant distance away, and where a more balanced living arrangement would not make sense because of school or similar circumstances this may make sense, but in other situations it will become a matter that must be resolved by a decision of the Court.

The Dallas Law Offices of Udeshi Clark & Associates: Your Parenting Agreement Experts

If you are considering a divorce the Dallas, Texas Law Offices of Udeshi Clark and Associates can help you draft a parenting agreement that will be satisfactory to the parties involved as well as the Court. Contact a member of our family law team today at (469) 914-5564 or online to get started today.