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What will you include in your parenting agreement?

Going through divorce is a challenging time in your life, especially if you have to consider the well-being of any minor children.

Although things are sure to change in the future, you can use a parenting agreement to remove some of the stress from your life. With this in place, both you and your ex-spouse will have a clear idea of how things should play out in regards to child custody.

Here are a few things you should consider including in a parenting agreement:

  • Which parent will make major decisions on behalf of the child, which is also known as legal custody
  • Which parent will have physical custody of the child or children
  • A visitation schedule for the parent who does not have physical custody
  • A schedule for where the child will spend major life events, including but not limited to birthdays and vacations
  • A system for communicating with family friends and extended family members, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles

Also, the best parenting agreements include language on how to make modifications in the future. You can't expect the agreement you create today to work the same five years from now. Changes may be necessary from time to time.

Since no two divorcing couples are in the exact same situation, no two parenting agreements are identical. You need to focus on the details, all the while negotiating with the other parent to ensure that you're on the same page.

As you create a parenting agreement, do what's best for your child while also making decisions that protect your legal rights.

Source: FindLaw, "The Parenting Agreement," accessed May 18, 2018

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