When you decide to divorce, it won't be long before you wonder what will happen in regard to how you raise your child or children. Since this is one of the most important things on your mind, you don't want to wait too long to learn more about your situation and the steps you can take to improve it.
A parenting agreement is exactly what it sounds like. With this, you and the other parent negotiate and resolve a variety of issues related to custody and visitation. While no two parenting agreements are the same, here are the types of things you may want to include:
- A final decision on where your child will live (this is physical custody)
- A final decision on which parent or if both parents will have legal custody
- A visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
- A clear idea of where the child will spend vacations, holidays, birthdays and any other major life events
- A system for making changes to the parenting agreement in the future
These are far from the only things you can include in a parenting agreement, but you definitely want to consider the benefits of adding these details.
Once you agree to terms with the other parent, the mediator can send the proposed parenting agreement to the appropriate family law court. As long as everything looks good to the judge, it will receive final approval. At that point, both individuals are expected to live up to the details of the parenting agreement.
In the event of a future violation of a parenting agreement, such as if the other parent doesn't adhere to the visitation schedule, you may need to take legal action. The agreement will help you to enforce what you agreed to.
It's not always easy to create a parenting agreement, but it's something that you need to do. When you put enough time into this up front, you'll realize that it works in your favor over and over again in the years to come.