How to Create a Parenting Agreement

When you get a divorce and have kids, you’ll have to undergo the process of creating a parenting agreement. A parenting agreement is a written agreement that defines how you and your ex will raise your children, including laying down ground rules and guidelines for things like communication standards, expectations of the children, what activities will be permitted, and much more. Creating a parenting agreement isn’t always a simple process, so here are some tips you can follow to make this often-contentious part of your divorce a little easier to complete.

What You Should Include

No two parenting agreements will ever be the same because no two families are even in the exact same situation. Thus, everyone will need to include different things in their parenting agreement. While you shouldn’t hesitate to retain an Annapolis family law attorney to make sure you don’t leave out anything that you might need in the future, most parenting agreement should cover things like custody terms and living arrangements, visitation schedules (including holidays), child support and expenses, education terms, how a child will receive medical care, and how they will be raised religiously (if at all).

Preparing for Negotiations

Before you begin drafting your parenting agreement, you’ll want to make sure you have documentation that supports your claims and ensures you receive fair treatment when it comes to your parenting rights. This includes gathering evidence that supports your involvement in your children’s lives and previous actions taken during any custody negotiations, including court orders, previously negotiated agreements, religious marriage documents, letters or communications from school officials with insight into your children, and much more. Carefully collect and organize these documents and then review them before starting custody proceedings to make sure you know and can discuss the ways in which you’d like to have your parenting agreement work out.

Consider Mediation

Because child custody can be such a difficult subject to approach, it’s often worth considering attempting to have a mediator lead the negotiations. Mediators are much less formal than proceeding through the courts, so you don’t have to worry about presenting your case before a judge. A mediator is usually a neutral attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in child custody law and can help both sides meet on common ground and come to an agreement. This process also could save you a substantial amount of money and lead to less harbored resentment that the court litigation process seems to create in some cases.

Let an Annapolis family law attorney from the Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis help you create the perfect parenting agreement. Call our office at (410) 593-0040 today to request a case evaluation.
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