What Should You Include In Your Parenting Agreement?
When it seems inevitable that you are on the brink of divorce, it is important to begin to focus on the future and planning for the wellbeing of your children. A divorce can be extremely emotionally taxing, and developing future parenting plans is often the most contested issues. Couples often struggle to determine visitation rights, custody, and child support. During this tough time it is important to remember that compromise is key and the child’s best interest should always come first. If you have questions about divorce or creating a parenting agreement, it is wise to seek the counsel of a family law attorney to ensure you are making the best decisions for your future.
Fortunately, the Florida court system is very good at creating compromise and working with couples to create an amicable divorce. In fact, many cases of child custody do not end up in court; indeed, in most occasions parents are able to formulate a plan during negotiations or mediation without visiting a courtroom. If a couple is able to work together through a child custody dispute, the plan they devise is almost always far more mutually beneficial than what a judge would decide. This is for the simple reason that a judge can never truly understand every little thing that would best appease both parties, not matter how hard they try.
What To Include In Your Agreement
The following is a non-exhaustive list of things to include in a parenting agreement:
- Physical Custody- This is the determination of who the child lives with.
- Visitation Schedule- This is the planning of where the child will reside on weekends, vacations, and holidays.
- Decision-Making Authority- This regards who has the power to make major life decisions for the child. This can include which schools they attend and health care they receive. The person that has this power has “legal custody”.
- Maintaining Contact- This involves deciding who the children can interact with, such as grandparents.
- How to change or revise the agreement should the need arise.
- How to fix disputes or issues of interpreting the agreement.
These are common items that are included in most agreements, but everyone’s situation is unique and in most circumstances, there will be unique additions to your agreement. As you progress through the divorce process it is important to look to the future and design the agreement around then so you do not create an agreement that will soon not fit your needs.
Do You Need Help?
Creating a parenting agreement can be a complex and strenuous process. A significant out of time and information goes into designing an agreement that both individuals can agree to. Thus, it is wise to contact a family law attorney should you feel like you need assistance during the process. An experienced attorney can provide you with knowledge and help ensure you are confident in the agreements you come to. This will position you and your child in a way that you can be confident about your lives going forward. If you need help in Fort Lauderdale, do not delay; contact attorney Sandra Bonfiglio as soon as possible.