If you are going through a divorce and there are children involved, one of your most important tasks is to reach a spousal agreement on continued co-parenting. No matter how much anger you’re carrying, or how difficult it is to talk to your spouse, it’s better to reach an agreement than it is to allow the court to make a decision for you. Reaching an amenable agreement means keeping your mind open, and getting help from people such as mediators, therapists and a Child Custody Lawyer/Attorney in Commack.
Parenting Agreements: What are They?
Parenting plans and agreements are documents defining how divorcing spouses will share decision-making and time with their kids. Parenting plans are useful in encouraging a cordial relationship after a divorce, because they help to set expectations and reduce conflict. Creating a parenting agreement allows you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to discuss issues that may come up, and how those issues will be handled.
Things to Include in a Parenting Agreement
1. A parenting plan can contain a variety of provisions, but topics should include:
2. Living arrangements and custody
3. Financial issues (children’s expenses and child support)
5. Medical care
8. Religious upbringing
Creating an Agreement
Divorcing spouses can work together to create and write a parenting agreement, or they can hire child custody attorneys and/or mediators. No matter which method you choose, you should assemble all the necessary documents before beginning. If your divorce is in progress, or if child custody proceedings have started, relevant documents can include:
1. Court summonses, petitions, complaints and affidavits
2. Letters from mediators, counselors, attorneys or court officials concerning divorce, custody, visitation, paternity or separation
3. Previous agreements between you and your ex-spouse
4. Divorce documents
5. Letters from school counselors, therapists and others who have insight into your children’s thoughts and emotions
After you have assembled the necessary documents, you should meet with your spouse and possibly a neutral third party. More than one meeting may be necessary to iron out all the details, but it is time well spent. Once your agreement is finished, you should include it in your divorce file and have it approved by a judge. If a judge signs the agreement, you and your Child Custody Lawyer/Attorney in Commack can take your ex-spouse to court if they fail to abide by its terms. For more specific information, call the offices of Todd J. Zimmer and Associates today.