There are many issues that a couple may have to work through and come to an agreement in a divorce, but there is nothing more critical than their child custody arrangement. Some couples can work out a custody agreement on their own, without the court’s intervention, however, many couples are unable to even agree who gets the crockpot, never mind which parent the children should live with.
If you are anticipating a child custody battle, contact a child custody lawyer Alameda County CA from a law firm like AttorneyBernie.com to discuss your concerns. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview of the elements needed in any child custody agreement.
There are elements of a custody arrangement that are common sense, however, there are also elements needed that parents may not realize at the time they are negotiating. This is why it is important to have a child custody attorney advocating for you. Making sure you have all issues covered goes a long way in avoiding future court battles because of a major disagreement concerning your child that comes up later on because it was never addressed in the original arrangement.
Some of the issues that you will want to make sure are included in your agreement include:
- A solid plan describing what the living arrangements for the child will be. This includes how much time the child will spend with each parent and which parent – if at all – is the primary parent.
- A schedule of how birthdays, holidays, and other special events will be divided
- A schedule for how school and summer vacation will be divided
- A vacation schedule for each parent, including how long the child will be with the parent, whether or not the child can travel out-of-state, and how much notice must be given to the other parent.
- Agreement on how major decisions regarding the child will be made, including medical decisions, where the child will go to school, what religion the child will be brought up in, etc.
- Agreement on how major disagreements between the parents will be addressed, such as mediation, before either parent files a complaint with the court.
- A right of first refusal agreement where, if for some reason one parent is unavailable during their scheduled parenting time, the other parent can have the child with them if they choose, instead of the parent making childcare arrangements with another party.
What Role Does the Court Play in a Custody Agreement?
Although the parents and their child custody attorneys will work through the details of the custody agreement, it is the court that has the final say. The court’s goal is to make sure that the best interest of the child is met in any arrangement. If there is something in the arrangement that the court feels will not benefit the child, they can refuse to approve it, even if the parents have agreed to the provision.