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What should you include in a parenting agreement?

There is nothing worse than the thought of a child custody dispute. Not only can this impact you, but it can do the same to your child.

Fortunately, it's possible for you and the other parent to work through all your issues. It may not be easy, but if both of you are willing to compromise it's possible to agree on a plan that suits both individuals.

Mediation, for example, is a great way to resolve issues and eventually create a parenting agreement.

If you're in the process of creating a parenting agreement or realize that you will probably need to do so in the future, here are some of the many things it should include:

  • Which parent will have physical custody (this is where the child will live)
  • The visitation schedule of the noncustodial parent
  • Which parent has legal custody (this is the person who makes major life decisions)
  • Where the child will spend major events, such as vacations, holidays and birthdays
  • How contact with other family members, such as grandparents, will work

Another thing to consider is adding language about how to address disputes that arise in the future.

There is no right or wrong answer as to what you should include in a parenting agreement. The most important thing is that both parents are happy with the end result.

Since it can be a challenge to create a parenting agreement and work through custody issues, do your best to understand your legal rights. This will put you in position to make informed decisions as the divorce process moves forward.

Source: FindLaw, "The Parenting Agreement," accessed Sep. 29, 2017

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