Even if you and your ex-spouse have the best intentions, there are times when a child custody case makes its way to court.
However, before this happens, you should take the time to learn more about your other options. For example, you may be able to work through your differences through mediation and the creation of a parenting agreement.
If you are able to resolve all of your child custody issues outside of court, such as through mediation, you will need to finalize the details in a parenting agreement.
What does it include?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question, but there are some things you should definitely include in a parenting agreement:
- Who has physical custody (this is the parent the child will live with)
- Visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
- Who has legal custody (this is the parent who will make major decisions, such as those related to health care)
- Where the child will spend his or her holidays, vacations, birthdays and other important events
- A system for handling future disputes and disagreements
You don’t have to stop here, but these are some of the most basic details to include in a parenting agreement. If nothing else, these will put you on the right track as you get started.
Once you work out the finer details of a parenting agreement, a judge will take the time to review the details. While not always the case, you may be required to take part in an informal court hearing to ensure that both individuals understand the agreement and are voluntarily signing it.
When it comes to child custody, you should do whatever you can to avoid disputes with the other parent. Your goal is to always do whatever is in the best interest of your child.
A parenting agreement can give both parents a better idea of what they should be doing, as well as guidance on what steps to take in the event of a disagreement.