A well-drafted child custody agreement will go a long way in averting any disagreements between co-parents. Every state has its own laws when it comes to child support and custody. So, you must research your jurisdiction’s laws and guidelines before you draft a child custody agreement.
That’s why we’ve rounded up some tips to help you draft an agreement, whether you’ve reached it through mediation or after a custody battle.
What Goes into The Custody Agreement?
You must detail:
- Parenting provisions
- Information on child support
- Custody schedule
- Visiting schedule (including holidays and weekends)
Prioritize Your Child
Custody issues come with a lot of emotions, even if the parents are amicable with each other. You’ll likely be emotional about what decisions to make. However, you must make choices for your child’s best interests. It’s better to not let anger or fear guide you when you draft the agreement.
Define the Custody Agreement
When drafting a child custody agreement, ensure you detail what kind of custody both parents agreed to. You can define custody as sole or joint. Sole custody refers to which parent will be the child’s custodian, and joint refers to both parents agreeing to be co-custodians.
Classify Physical and Legal Custody
Moreover, also ensure you describe which parent will have physical or legal custody in the agreement. Legal custody includes which parent will be responsible for making important decisions for the child. Meanwhile, physical custody means which parent will take care of the child’s daily care.
Detail the Schedule
Think of the agreement as a parenting plan. So, you have to detail the child’s parenting schedule in the agreement. This means the visitation timetable, like the holidays, weekends, and any other important information should be added. Moreover, it should also describe the pick-up and drop-off details.
Describe Important Decisions
In the custody agreement, you must detail the important decisions relating to your child. These include their religion, schooling, extra-curricular activities, etc.
How Do You Make It Official?
First, you have to submit your custody agreement to the court while you’re settling your custody or divorce case.
The judge will decide custody if the other co-parent objects to your agreement. However, if you made the agreement with the co-parent’s approval, the judge is likely to approve it. Once the court approves it, your agreement becomes a court order.
Get an Attorney to Help You Draft Your Agreement
There are more benefits of a child custody agreement drafted by an attorney. It can help you easily and efficiently define the roles and schedules of both parents and allow both parties to enforce their parental rights. That’s because it will be through proper jurisdiction.
It can also help you guarantee visitation rights and secure your rights as a parent. An attorney can even ensure a custodial parent remains within a specific geographic distance.
A family law attorney can be helpful in both cases of divorce and child custody.
Here at Marquez Law Offices, we will take care of all matters regarding child custody, visitation, and child support. We’ll also help you with your divorce proceedings.
We also provide property division attorneys, family law attorneys, estate and probate planning attorneys in Chico, CA.
If you’re looking for a general practice firm in Chico, CA, you can reach out to Marquez Law Offices today.