When is a Parenting Agreement a Good Idea?

For many couples going through a divorce, a parenting agreement provides some assurance that their children will be raised according to their wishes and the kids’ best interests.

A parenting agreement, called a parenting plan, is a written contract that outlines how both members of a divorced couple plan to spend time with and raise their children. Essentially, it is the foundation for your post-divorce relationship between you, your children and your former spouse. Many divorcing couples choose to enter into a parenting agreement so that issues pertaining to childcare are not subject to the decision of a judge, unless there is a future disagreement between the parents.

Parenting agreements may include matters such as child custody and visitation, child support, education, healthcare, religion, holidays, discipline, decision-making, school issues and transportation. Parents may also choose to include how anticipated complications will be handled if and when they arise.

How parenting agreements are made

Parenting agreements are often made with assistance from a qualified attorney or mediator. Couples work with their mediator through a series of conversations and negotiations to outline the best possible scenarios for raising their kids. Both parents must agree to the plan for the document to be finalized.

Benefits of these agreements

Once a resolution is agreed on, your lawyer will help you finalize the document with a judge’s signature. From that moment on, it becomes an enforceable order that requires both parties to act in accordance with its terms. A parenting agreement, or parenting plan, often has a better chance of being complied with because the parties reached the agreement together, rather than a judge telling the parties what they are going to do. A parenting agreement between the parties can help avoid court intervention that leaves both parties unhappy.

If you are going through a divorce and would like more information on parental agreements, speak with the knowledgeable Minneapolis family law attorneys at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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