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Divorce Custody Agreement

The partners are divorced and the child custody case is also over, where the court has awarded the ex-spouses either joint or sole custody with visitation rights as per the case. Now, it becomes important to formulate a final agreement plan and structure it into a legal framework so that the post-divorce parental strategy is very clear to both the divorced parents. This formal and legal plan is the child custody agreement and both the divorced partners are expected to abide by it for a smooth raising up of the child.

What does the Child Custody Agreement deal about?

This agreement clearly mentions the following so as to remove any misunderstandings in the minds of the parents:
  • Specifies the location of the child and allows room for shifting residences.
  • Highlights the time and frequency of visitation by the non-custodian parent. Clearly states the time duration, type of place, occasions, daily routine etc when the non-custodian parent can make his/her visits.
  • How the non-custodian parent can contact with the child.
  • What decisions to be taken together by the parents on certain aspects of the child’s future, such as: his/her health, education, religion etc.
  • Financial nuances in the case of child support are detailed to remove any vestiges of doubt.
  • In case there are grandparents of the child, the agreement specifically elaborates on grandparents visitation rights.
  • Specifies means of handling disputes and conflicts that may arise in future in relation with child custody and parenting plan.
Role of a sound Parenting Plan while formulating the Custody Agreement

The custody agreement is legal document which highlights the legal, custodial and visitation rights of the divorced parents. Naturally, a well discussed parenting plan can help the court to finalize an exhaustive custody agreement which covers all the aspects concerning the future of the child. Of course, the parenting plan could have been formed with the help of divorce custody mediators. If mediation was unable to chart out a parenting plan, custody evaluators can be asked by the court to provide recommendations based on psychological assessment of the child and the divorced parents. These recommendations can be made use of while drafting the final child custody agreement.

Courts giving the final “nod”

The formal drafted custody agreement needs to be approved by the judge. If the judge is convinced that the custody agreement was arrived at after a good parenting plan and is accepted by both the parents, he/she may assent to have it as the final decree. The judge tries to find if the agreement is biased towards any divorced parent fighting for the child custody.

Demerits of a Child Custody Agreement

Child custody agreements, after a divorce do not change according to the changing needs of the growing child. It is because they are formulated at the time when the child might have been a toddler. Thus, most of the stipulated points become slightly obsolete as the child grows up. It would be wiser if the custody agreement has clauses to accommodate the altering dimensions of the child and respects his/her mental capability.

The divorce custody agreement is a final legally biding arrangement. Any violation of the strictures as specified in the agreement is not tolerated by the court of the land.

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