As you go through the divorce process, you can't help but think about how this will impact your relationship with your children.
While things are sure to change in the near future, it's good to know there are steps you can take to put yourself in a better position. For many people, this starts with the creation of a parenting agreement.
As the name suggests, a parenting agreement allows you to negotiate and resolve a variety of issues regarding custody, visitation and other related details.
What you include in a parenting agreement is up to you and your ex-spouse. Some of the many things you may want to touch on include:
- Which parent will have physical custody of the children
- The visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
- Which parent will have legal custody (or maybe both)
- Where the children will spend birthdays, vacations and holidays
- How to deal with contact with other family members and friends
- The best way to deal with changes to the parenting agreement and disputes in the future
What about court approval?
A parenting agreement is something you typically work out during mediation. This gives you the opportunity for your voice to be heard and for you to directly negotiate the finer details with the other individual.
Once everything is in place, the parenting agreement is submitted to a judge for approval. As long as everything checks out, you will never have to spend time in court. Instead, the parenting agreement will become active and it's then up to you to follow the terms and conditions.
It's good to know that the creation of a parenting agreement can provide a variety of benefits to both you and your children. As long as you understand how to create this document, your legal rights and the issues that could arise, you'll find yourself in position to make sound decisions that will work in your favor in the years to come.