Custody cases can seem never ending. They can be difficult and stressful for both parties. The goal of a custody agreement involves satisfying both parties and help them navigate shared custody in the future. Court proceedings can be costly, from attorney’s fees to court filing fees. A properly drafted agreement can help you avoid conflict and help you avoid having to return to court.

It is important to note every custody agreement should reflect the specific needs and desires of the parties. They can be as specific or standard as both sides request. Some parents prefer more vague language to allow for more flexibility. However, others prefer everything to be outlined in the agreement to avoid potential misunderstandings. Clauses regarding holidays, travel, exchanges, and communication are popular clauses, which help both parties navigate co-parenting.

Birthdays, Holidays, and Vacations

Holidays, birthdays, or vacations are filled with much-needed family time. Having clear clauses in your agreement regarding birthdays, holidays, and vacations will help ease potential conflict and help you enjoy the time with your child. Some agreements will divide certain holidays between the parties depending if it is an even or odd year. Similarly, parties can include specific parameters for their birthdays and the child’s birthday. Vacation provisions can include a particular number of days allotted to each parent each year.

Travel Stipulations

In divorced families, travel can be a hot topic. Popular clauses in custody agreements include how much notice is needed to travel with the child, if the child can be taken out of the country, and how long of a duration they can be gone.

Parenting-Time Exchanges

Depending on the parties, parenting time exchanges can be stressful. If parties are prone to conflict, having a clause regarding curbside pick-up and drop-off may be beneficial. Parties can also outline in their agreement which party is required to pick-up and drop-off. For example, the on-duty parent is often required to pick up the children from the off-duty parent’s home.

Communication

Regardless if the parties are together or separated, parenting requires communication between both parents. If parties tend to be high-conflict, having set boundaries laid out in your arrangement may help you avoid non-productive communication. Sites like Our Family Wizard may be a great option for high-conflict matters because all communication is written and recorded.

Every custody agreement is different and the circumstances surrounding each case may change; however, by outlining the agreement between parties can help limit future conflict and keep both parties out of court.  If you need assistance with your custody case, contact our office today. Our experienced legal team is here to help and to answer any questions you may have. To set up an initial consultation, call our office at (763) 323-6555 or submit an online contact inquiry through our website.