When divorcing Texas parents are creating a parenting plan together that dictates who the child will stay with and at what times, it's vital to consider the child or children's ages, life stages and temperaments. Obviously, a teenager's personality will be much different from a toddler's and your parenting plan should reflect this, as well as other factors relating to your children's stages of growth.
Let's consider babies and toddlers first. Infants and toddlers require frequent and regular contact with both parents. Young children do not have fully developed memories. As such, if an entire week passes between visitations, the baby or toddler could forget vital impressions and information about the other parent.
As for older children and teenagers. They can endure longer periods of time between visits with the other parent. However, older children and teens also have more complicated schedules that may include after school activities, sporting events, hobbies, artistic endeavors, music classes and other extracurricular interests. As such, a parenting plan for older kids should reflect this.
Regardless of the age of your child or children, their temperaments will be unique and could change as they grow and develop. Different personalities of children could require different kinds of parenting schedules. For example, if your child is laid back and goes with the flow, nearly any kind of schedule could conceivably work. However, if your child has a hard time during parental exchanges, or requires an extremely stable and consistent visitation plan, you may need to determine the most appropriate plan to suit your child's emotional needs.
A Houston divorce lawyer who has handled the negotiation of many parenting plans can be invaluable in determining what kind of parenting plan is right for you, your child and your family's needs.