If you are divorcing and you have children, you have an important decision ahead of you: putting your children before spousal disagreements, rather than forcing a court to decide how you’ll continue to parent together. At Fernandez & Karney, our LA family lawyers specialize in creating parenting agreements specific to your family’s needs.

What is a Parenting Agreement?

A parenting agreement or plan is a written document that defines how you and your ex-spouse will share time and decision-making regarding your kids. It facilitates a successful post-divorce dynamic be setting clear expectations which can in turn reduce conflicts. Creating a parenting plan allows you and your ex-spouse to discuss issues that arise during your children’s lives and how you will handle those issues. The agreement can also be made into a court order to make it easier to enforce.

Your parenting agreement should include such topics as:

  • Custody and living arrangements
  • Visitation schedules, including holidays
  • Financial issues (child support and expenses)
  • Education
  • Medical care
  • Religious upbringing and training

How to Create a Parenting Agreement

You may choose to discuss and create a parenting plan directly with your ex-spouse, but many couples seek the help of a divorce or child custody mediator. Either way, there are some relevant documents that may help you expedite matters, including:

  • Court documents you have filed or received, such as “summons,” “petition,” “complaint,” “response, “declaration,” or “affidavit”
  • Correspondence from attorney/mediator or court official regarding your marital status, child support, custody, or visitation
  • Court orders regarding your marital status, child support, custody, or visitation
  • Previous mediated or negotiated agreements between you and your spouse
  • Documents dissolving and/or describing your religious marriage
  • Reports, letters, or evaluations from schools and counselors who might have an insight into your children

After you have collected these items, you and your spouse may choose to have a third-party to help you understand the documents or work with your spouse cooperatively.

Once the arrangement is complete, it may be added to your settlement agreement, or kept separately, but either way, it is a good idea to have a judge approve it so that it becomes enforceable.

To learn more about parenting plans or divorce, click here or call the Los Angeles divorce lawyers at Fernandez & Karney today at 310-622-9434.