Child Custody Agreement

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Key Agreement for Your Child Protection!

Divorce is a difficult decision for any family.  Its hard for the parents, but even harder for your child.

After your separation or divorce, you and your ex need a custody agreement on many things, such as which parent the kid is going to live with, how often and how long the non-custodial parent can visit the child, how to take care of the childs daily activities in and after the school to ensure that he or she enjoys a healthy life style. A Child Custody Agreement (also referred in the court as a Parenting Plan) addresses all these concerns.  It is usually resolved voluntarily and informally in between you and your ex.

The agreement is required by the district court along with your divorce paper when you divorce or separate.  It is critical for you to set up guidelines regarding your responsibilities for your kid to avoid future conflicts.

When parents do not comply with the agreement, the court is then forced to make decisions for the best interest of your child and come up with their own agreement for you.  You may consider binding arbitration where an arbitrator will make the same decisions that a judge would so that you can avoid the court.

Your custody agreement should address the following concerns:

  • Parenting time (physical custody)
  • Decision making (legal custody)
  • Visitation (rights and schedule, overnights)
  • Transportation and exchange
  • Contact information, relocation and foreign travel
  • Contact with relatives and significant others
  • Communication and mutual decision-making
  • Child support
  • Child education, including:
    – school to attend
    – school functions
    – social activities
    – vacations and school breaks
    – access to records
  • Physical and mental health care
  • Dispute resolve process
  • Mediation and arbitration
  • Medical insurance and related expenses
  • Taxes and wills

A Stipulated Child Custody Agreement

If you and your ex can both agree on an arrangement for both custody and visitation before the court hearing, its called stipulated.  A judge can approve a stipulated agreement without court hearing.  Judges usually encourage you to reach the agreement, rather than go to hearing.

Your lawyer will file your private custody agreement as a stipulation, which serves as an official record for your custody and visitation.  A judge will then sign the order, rendering it enforceable, meaning legally binding.

The Minimum Parenting Time

In most of the states, the court-ordered custody agreement sets the minimum amount of parenting time and access the non-custodial parent is entitled to have.

The standard, short-distance visitation plan by the family court in most states consists of alternating weekends and some holidays, there are also medium and long-distance parental plans that allow you to combine these visits into a longer time to reduce your travel time.

The Need to Change Your Child Custody Agreement

There are many reasons when you need to change your existing agreement, such as:

  • A parent may remarry and have additional children, which may affect where your child would want to live
  • You or your exs income may increase overtime and allow your child to live a better lifestyle
  • You or your ex may move and your child may want to visit more or less
  • As your child grow, he or she may need to go to a different school or may have different ideas on where to live

The concept of changing the custody and visitation arrangement overtime could be a wise choice for the best interest of your child for both the physical and psychological development.

What If Your Ex Does Not Stick to The Custody and Visitation Agreement?

If that happens, you will then need to refile your case, which includes obtaining new counsel and paying new court fee.  So its to your best interest, also to your kids, to ensure that you have a good agreement in the first place and then both parties stick to it.

Your Agreement Is for the Best Interest of Your Child

Usually its difficult for both parents to agree on all the custody and visitation terms and come up with an arrangement that they both are happy with.  However, for the best interest of your child you still need to try everything you can to avoid custody battle and work out terms in a written agreement that provide supports and protections for your child.

Reaching a good child custody agreement is never easy.  You need to ensure that you do everything right to fully protect your custody and visitation rights and give your child the best living and development environment

How to Win Your Child Custody?

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Dear Worried Parent,

It’s a difficult time but you are NOT alone!

On this site you will find valuable information to help you win your custody rights and protect your child. Please feel free to contact us if you need additional assistance.

Child Custody Agreement

– How to Win Your Custody and Visitation Rights when You Cant Reach An Agreement?

You are depressed, worried, and maybe angry. However, no one really wins a child custody. Your sole reason and goal to get your custody or visitation rights is because you believe that as a care giver, you are the most suitable for the best interest of your child for the physical and psychological development. This is actually how the family court will review your case and decide whether they are going to grant you a sole or joint custody.

Child custody and visitation rights become issues when you are unable to agree to court-appointed mediation, or fail to reach an agreement by the end of the mediation process.

If you want to win your child custody rights, you have to become familiar with the child custody laws and how child custody hearings work.

Type of Child Custody

In general, you and your ex are seeking for sole or joint legal and/or physical custody.

Legal Custody: Your right to make educational, medical and religious decisions for your child.

Physical Custody: Your right to have your child live with you and to made daily decisions.

Visitation Rights: Regardless of the legal and physical custody rights, a parent generally will be granted visitation rights by the court with a schedule.

The Lawyer Trap

Talking to your lawyer may be an option you are looking at, or you might have got one already. However, you need to watch out for 2 special types of divorce lawyers:

Those who bring up frequent custody actions for the sole purpose of justifying a larger bill
Those who bring up child custody actions in order to force the other party to give up more property
By the end, both you and your ex will spend thousands of dollars and countless hours just to make the lawyer richer.

Beware of the Father Only and Mother Only Law Firms

If a firm claim that they specialize in fathers rights or mothers rights, you need to watch out. Most such firms are relying on that type of specification as the advertising gimmick. But that specification may make the court view them with suspicions. A good family lawyer typically represents both father and mother.

Dont Criticize Your Ex

The court usually will use the Better Parent stand when granting the custody rights: Both parents together will better take care of the child. Therefore if you are seeking for sole custody, you will have to prove that you alone will be the best to take care of your child.

Criticizing your Ex is not a good strategy because the judge wants to see that you are a better parent in the following areas:

Physical Well-being of Your Child: Such as after school activities and eating schedule show the judge that you can offer your child a healthy life style.

Psychological Well-being of Your Child: Your winning strategy is to show the judge that you encourage the relationship between your child and your Ex.

Protect Yourself

While you are trying to protect your child and be fair to your ex, unfortunately, your ex could be trying everything to steal the child from you. For example, a minor, non-life threatening illness or changing jobs may be used by your ex in the court to take away your custody AND visitation rights!

There are in fact 49 actions that you have to take in order to drastically increase your chance to win your child custody and visitation rights. If you miss one or more of the steps, you may lose the battle and any hearings process thereafter will be a long and costly uphill battle!