There is nothing worse than going through the divorce process, as this is going to change your life in many ways. If you have at least one child with your former spouse, you know that even more challenges await in the future.
This is why you need to think long and hard about how to create the perfect parenting agreement. It may not be as simple as it sounds, as you need to work through details with the other individual, but in the long run it's something you need.
Here's the good thing about a parenting agreement: You can customize it to suit the wants and needs of you, the other parent, and your child or children. You may not get exactly what you want, but you should be able to settle on something that puts you in good position moving forward.
Here are the types of things you should consider including in a parenting agreement:
- If one or both parents will have legal custody
- Where the child will live
- A visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
- Where the child will spend vacations, holidays, birthdays and any other important life events
- A plan for contact with other family members, such as grandparents
Along with the above, most people find that it makes sense to include language on how to deal with disputes and changes in the future. You hope that your parenting agreement will remain the same for years to come, but there could be a point when you need to make some adjustments. This typically happens as your child ages.
Once you work things out with the other parent, such as through mediation, a family law judge will review the agreement. As long as everything checks out, you can sign off on the final draft and use this moving forward.
When you know your legal rights, you'll realize that you're in position to create a parenting agreement that makes life easier on you and your child. And when this happens, it's much easier to move on after your divorce is finalized.