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How does a parenting agreement impact child custody?

If you find yourself in the middle of a child custody dispute it's important to do whatever it takes to negotiate and resolve every issue.

Once you're able to do this (hopefully without much additional stress) the final details are put into writing, which is known as a parenting agreement.

The nice thing about a formal parenting agreement is that it gives both parents a clear idea of his or her responsibilities and rights in the future. Some of the things you can include in a parenting agreement are:

  • Where the child will live
  • If one or both parents will have legal custody
  • A visitation schedule for the noncustodial parent
  • A schedule that outlines where the child will spend holidays, vacations, birthdays and any other special events
  • A clear idea of how contact with other family members, such as grandparents, will work

You may also want to think about adding language regarding disputes and potential changes.

For example, the parenting agreement that you created during your divorce may not work well for all parties involved in a few years. At that time, you need to work with your ex-spouse to make changes and ensure that you're both again on the same page.

It's not always easy to create a parenting agreement, as you may not have the same ideas as the other individual, but you need to work hard to get something in place that works for the two of you.

As you work through the finer details of a parenting agreement don't lose sight of your legal rights and what's best for your child.

Source: FindLaw, "The Parenting Agreement," accessed April 11, 2018

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