A child custody agreement is a legally binding contract between two parents, setting out details about who will have primary legal and physical custody of the child or children involved. The document should also spell out the amount of child support payments the non-custodial parent is responsible for providing and the manner in which they are to be paid.
Creating a child custody contract can be an emotional and difficult process. While it helps to use this free template from Fill, it helps to have an experienced family law attorney who can advise parents on the best approach to take and create a fair, legally binding agreement.
The best agreements are ones that are made without intervention from a court, as these agreements generally reflect the wishes of the parents more accurately than a judge would.
Before creating a child custody agreement, it is important to understand the different types of child custody that are available. Legal custody refers to the right of a parent to make important decisions about the child’s education, health care, and religious upbringing.
Physical custody determines where a child will reside and how much time they will spend with each parent. Shared or joint child custody arrangements are often created so that both parents have some degree of responsibility and involvement in the child’s life.
When creating child custody agreements, there are several important elements to consider. Be sure to provide detailed information about the type of custody arrangement being established, including the right of custody and visitation schedule, and other terms.
List both parents’ contact information, including home and work addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. You should also include any provisions for child support payments, such as the amount, duration, and frequency of payments. Make sure to provide clear instructions on how disputes over the agreement should be handled.
Joint physical custody means the parents share equal responsibility for providing a home and caring for their child. This typically involves both parents having residential time with the child, alternating days or weeks during which they are each responsible for housing and caring for the child.
The benefits of this common child custody agreement include both parents continuing to be involved in their child’s life and offering a stable, nurturing home environment based on an amenable parenting plan. The challenges may include having to coordinate closely with the other parent and splitting time between two households.
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