When going through a divorce, you may not take much time to consider the feelings of your soon-to-be ex-spouse. While this is your right, don’t lose sight of the fact that they’ll still be a big part of your life if you have children together.
Co-parenting is never easy, but there are steps you can take to ease the tension. And it starts with the creation of a parenting agreement.
With a well-thought-out parenting agreement in place, you always have guidance you can lean on when co-parenting with your ex. Some of the details you should include are as follows:
- The parent who has physical custody
- If both parents will have legal custody
- If the non-custodial parent will have visitation rights (which calls for a visitation schedule)
- A schedule detailing where your children will spend events such as vacations and holidays
All of these details are related to child custody and co-parenting, so it’s a good idea to get on the same page as soon as possible.
What about court approval?
Even if you’re able to create a parenting agreement out of court, such as in mediation, it will go before a family law judge for final approval.
Depending on the circumstances, the judge may request that both parents attend an informal hearing where they prove to the judge that they understand what they are signing and what’s expected of them in the future.
The main thing a judge is looking for is a parenting agreement that is grossly unfair to one individual.
Violating a parenting agreement is a big deal
Once a judge signs off on a parenting agreement, it becomes a legally binding court order that you are required to follow. If for any reason you need to make a change, it’s critical that you get final court approval. A modification is possible, but you can’t make this decision on your own.
A parenting agreement can do many things for you and your ex, with the ability to prevent future trouble among the most important. If for any reason your parenting agreement isn’t helping — maybe because things have changed so much since your divorce — look into the steps for requesting a modification. It may be best for all parties.