Child Custody, Visitation, and the Parenting Agreement

Depending on the parties involved and the issues at hand, divorce can either be highly contentious or amicably resolved with little need for court intrusion. However, simply because a couple gets along does not mean that they can relax during the divorce process. Those who do may find themselves at the losing end of what is essentially a bargain.

For example, child custody and visitation issues can be negotiated and finalized in a parenting agreement. By agreeing to the terms in one of these documents, parents can avoid litigating the matter in court and thereby leave important decisions to a judge who knows very little about the family. The terms of these agreements can vary widely depending on the circumstances at hand, but most address similar issues. These matters can include a determination on physical custody, legal custody, when visitation with a noncustodial parent will occur, with whom the child will spend certain holidays, the extent of contact with extended family members on both sides, and how the agreement can be modified.

Those who are lax during the negotiation of this agreement may find themselves with an agreement that seeks to limit their time with their child. Even though a court typically has to approve such an agreement, it may be approved even though it severely limits one’s rights. Therefore, these individuals need to ensure that they are getting a fair deal in these agreements by holding firm to what they believe is in the best interests of the child.

Legal representation in these matters can be of the utmost importance. Not only can an experienced family law attorney ensure that parenting agreements are negotiated in fairness, but he or she can also assist with attempts to modify these agreements as well as seeking enforcement of them. Thus, those who want to learn more about how to address custody and visitation issues that arise in the context of a parenting agreement should consider seeking legal assistance.

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