There is a common misconception that a child custody case always goes to court. While there are times when this happens, it doesn't have to be the way things work out.
It‘s possible that both parents, with the help of their attorneys and a mediator, can work through the process to settle on a parenting agreement that works for both individuals.
Although it can be a challenge to create a parenting agreement, especially when you are not getting along with the other parent, this is often better than going to court. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that you will have more control over the process.
There is no denying that parenting agreements differ greatly from one situation to the next, but there are several key details that you should consider adding:
- Where the child will live, which is also known as physical custody
- Who will make key decisions related to the upbringing of the child, known as legal custody
- Visitation schedules for the non-custodial parent
- Where the child will spend holidays, summer vacation, and other key events in his or her life
- Contact with other family members, including but not limited to grandparents
- A system for working through disputes in the future
Even though you hope that the parenting agreement will remain in place for the rest of the child's life, there may come a point when you need to alter this in some way. There is nothing wrong with this, and it should be expected.
If you need to make changes to the parenting agreement, you'll once again want to work closely with the other parent to ensure that both of you are on the same page.
The ability to customize a parenting agreement to suit the needs of all parties is one of the primary benefits of going down this path.
Divorce can be a challenge, but you don't want this to hinder your ability to raise your child in the appropriate manner. Through the creation of a parenting agreement, both you and your former spouse will know your role and how to do what's best for your child in the years to come.