As you move through the divorce process, you’ll have constant worries about the impact of your split on your relationship with your children. It’s impossible to know what the future will bring, but there are steps you can take to ease your stress.
A parenting agreement makes post-divorce life easier on you, your ex and your children. With this in place, there’s no gray area in regard to child custody and visitation. Everything is laid out in a manner that’s simple for you and your ex to follow.
When creating a parenting agreement, such as through mediation, it’s critical to negotiate with your best interests in mind, while also remaining flexible enough to compromise on key issues.
Some of the key details to include in a parenting agreement are:
- Where your children will live
- If one or both parents will have legal custody of the children
- A visitation schedule for the parent who doesn’t have physical custody
- A schedule outlining where your children will spend major occasions, such as holidays and birthdays
- A system for making changes and resolving disputes in the future
Mediation will lead you to negotiate
In mediation, you and your soon-to-be ex are able to negotiate the details of your divorce, which includes a parenting agreement.
It’s not always easy, but an open mind will allow you to settle on an agreement that’s best for your children and agreeable to the two of you.
Once you reach an agreement on all details, your parenting plan is submitted to a local family law judge for approval. Depending on the circumstances, you may then attend an informal hearing to prove to the judge that you understand the agreement and are willing to abide by the terms and conditions.
A court-approved parenting agreement is nothing to take lightly. If you sign on the dotted line, you’re expected to follow the obligations of the agreement in the future.
If your ex continually violates your court-approved parenting agreement, talk to them about your concerns and then decide what to do next. You may have no choice but to take legal action, as you don’t want their negligence to impact the relationship you maintain with your children.