Important Items to Cover in Your Child Custody Agreement
While no two child custody cases are ever exactly the same, there are still some elements that should be included in almost every agreement. The following are few items you will want to cover as you go through the process of determining your specific custody arrangement:
- Determine who has physical and legal custody: Are you going to have a sole custody or joint custody arrangement? Sole custody gives a parent both physical and legal custody, while joint custody divides physical and legal custody between both parents.
- Set the visitation schedule: If one parent is going to have sole physical custody, it’s important to establish a visitation plan and schedule in writing. This plan should outline when the noncustodial parent will be able to see the children, how long visits will last, where the visits will take place and how the children will get there.
- Figure out how you’ll make certain child-raising decisions: Who will be responsible for making some of the major decisions on the upbringing of the children? These decisions could include religion, education, healthcare, extracurricular activities and discipline. You should have a written plan in place so there is consistency in decisions both parents make.
- Determine how you’ll split costs: For any costs not covered by child support, you should have an agreement in place for who will pay for them. For example, which parent will have the children on their health insurance plan? And which parent will be primarily responsible for paying for children’s extracurricular activities?
- Plan how you’ll resolve other issues not covered in your agreement: Leave space to make changes and discuss your custody agreement in the future. Figure out the best way to work with each other to find an arrangement that works for both sides.
For more information and guidance on putting together a sound child custody plan, contact a skilled La Plata family law attorney with Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A.