Making An Effective Child Custody Agreement – Child Custody

Child custody agreements are an important aspect of divorced life. Every state requires custody agreements for parents who are separated or divorced. Custody agreements determine how custody of a child works or how it is split up. A custody agreement addresses issues such as:
Joint custody: where both parents have equal power in deciding the future of their child
Legal custody: where legal issues such as a child’s place of residence, religious beliefs and medical care are determined
Limited co-parenting schedule: a schedule that determines each parent’s role
Physical custody: determines which parent has physical custody of a child
Sole custody: may include legal or physical custody or both.
A child custody agreement allows for parents to fairly decide custody rights of a child. A common agreement should include:
Complete custody and visitation schedule – This is also known as a parenting time schedule and is the bulk of an agreement. Both parents should work together to create a basic and repeating visitation and custody schedule for their child.
Holiday and/or vacation schedule – In addition to a basic custody and visitation schedule, a holiday and vacation schedule should be made as well. This part of the agreement should include with whom a child spends each holiday or vacation and any specifics of where vacations will be spent and what will happen during holidays and vacations.
Custody provisions – This involves possible requirements and stipulations that are part of a custody situation. It may include stipulations to help resolve arising issues, how future changes will be made to the agreement and how activities and events the child participates in or attends will be chosen.
Information about child support – Every state has a specific calculation for the amount of child support received. Each parent must complete the proper documents to determine who pays and what amount is paid. This information must be included in an agreement.
Other important documents – Important documents such as a child’s medical information, educational needs or any special needs may be included in an agreement for verification or relevance to the child.
Creating a fair agreement depends on the child and the family situation. No agreement will be identical and should be specific to each child and/or situation. Child custody agreements are required by law in every state in divorce or separation situations. Good agreements can be made when both parents have their child’s best interests in mind.