A Texas couple that shares a child but is no longer together will inevitably want the child to be involved with both parents. In most cases, this is in the best interests of the child. Having a relationship with children is something that the majority of parents will strive for. The state has certain laws in place regarding an agreed parenting plan and how it is dealt with.
When parents are in dispute over child custody, it is preferable that it be settled in an amicable fashion. If the couple is able to come to an agreement, they can formulate a written plan that has the provisions for the child, custody and visitation. It will also have the basis for a possible modification of the agreed upon plan if one is needed. There can also be variations from the order. If the court decides that the plan that the parents have agreed upon is in the best interests of the child, it will order that the plan go forward.
The terms of the agreement regarding all issues can be enforced through a judgment. This will include contempt, but it will not be enforceable as a contract. In the event the court deems that the parenting plan is not in the best interests of the child, it can request that the parents revise and resubmit it. If they do not submit a plan that is considered satisfactory, the court can formulate a plan that it deems to be in the child's best interests.
If parents are able to come to an agreement that is acceptable to the court, this is better than having a contentious disagreement be decided by the court leaving one side or the other - or both sides - unhappy. However, it is important to understand how the law views these issues and to have legal assistance regarding child custody before agreeing to a particular plan.
Source: statutes.legis.state.tx.us, "Sec. 153.007. Agreed Parenting Plan," accessed on Nov. 30, 2015