Going through the divorce process is never easy. In addition to your personal well-being, you must make decisions that protect your child or children as well.
A parenting agreement can go a long way in making life easier on you, your ex-spouse and your children.
The details to include in your parenting agreement depends on your personal situation, but there are some things you absolutely need to consider:
- Which parent will have physical custody, as this is the person your children will live with
- A visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
- If one parent or both will have legal custody
- A schedule outlining where your children will spend holidays, vacations and other important events throughout the year
- Details on how to facilitate contact with extended family members
You also have the ability to add language regarding how to handle changes or resolve disputes in the future.
Compromise is critical
Creating a parenting agreement is easier said than done, as both parents are sure to fight for what they believe is best for them and their children.
During mediation, you have the opportunity to discuss all the details above, among many others. Compromise is critical to success, as you can't expect to get everything you want. For example, even though you want to spend every holiday with your children in the future, you need to create a schedule that is fair to both parents.
Don't violate your parenting agreement
As the months go by, you may begin to think twice about your parenting agreement. You may wonder if you really need to follow it closely. While there may be times when you need to discuss changes with your ex-spouse, it's important to follow your court-approved parenting agreement down to the letter.
If you come to find that the other parent continually violates the parenting agreement, you have the right to go to court to enforce the agreement and attempt to resolve the issue once and for all.
The most important thing you can do is create a parenting agreement that you're comfortable with. Once you have this in place, you no longer have to guess as to what you should and shouldn't be doing in regard to raising your child.