Once an agreement about child custody issues has been reached, parents generally finalize the agreement by creating a document called a parenting agreement. A parenting agreement is a detailed written plan about child custody issues that is personalized for each family’s unique circumstances. In general, a parenting agreement will include information about where children will live, with whom children will spend holidays and birthdays and how major decisions in the children’s lives will be made.
After a parenting agreement has been created, the document can be presented to a judge so that it can be converted into a legally binding court order. Before approving the agreement, a judge might ask each parent whether he or she has signed the agreement voluntarily. In a majority of cases, a judge will approve a parenting agreement as long as the agreement was fairly negotiated by both parties.
A parent who is having a difficult time communicating with their spouse about child custody issues in a divorce might want to have representation from an attorney. Whether a parent is able to negotiate an agreement outside of court or a court hearing becomes necessary, an attorney may be able to help represent the parent’s position on child custody matters. An attorney may also be able to help a parent to enforce a previously written parenting agreement that is not being honored by their ex-spouse.