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How to Create a Custody Agreement


When you go through a divorce, the hardest part is facing a future without the partner you thought youd be with forever. Only slightly less difficult, however, is the process of determining who gets custody of the children and how that custody will be shared. You want to spare your children as much pain as possible while still remaining a strong, loving presence in their lives. If ever there was a time to work as partners once more, this is it. Here are some tips on how to work together to resolve parental rights issues and work out a custody agreement that wont break your family.

Custody Agreement: Informal Negotiations

Some parents – particularly in cases of amicable divorce – are able to work out custody through informal discussions. They are capable of sitting down and resolving all issues of visitation, scheduling, and parental rights, and only need to call upon the services of an attorney to finalize the agreement. This is the best of all possible scenarios. If you can get past your pain, grief and anger, you may be able to work things out as is best for everyone involved. We can assist you once you get to this point to review and finalize your agreement, offering suggestions and best-practices where applicable.

Court-Mandated Custody

This is perhaps the least desirable of the methods available to you with regards to custody arrangements. When negotiations completely break down and the divorce becomes adversarial, the courts can step in. A judge will review each sides case – usually presented by their divorce lawyers – and make a determination regarding which parent is best able to care for the child. The court will determine the best sharing of custody, visitation rights and scheduling, and the parents will be mandated to abide by these rulings, possibly in a supervised setting. This can create a lot of anguish and stress for the family and the children specifically. Our team can also assist you with this scenario, working with you to prepare and present your case, translate court decisions, and help you build a plan to efficiently carry out the court’s wishes in a manner that most positively impacts your children and family – this is where the value of a highly experienced, family-focused divorce lawyer comes into play.

Mediation and Custody Agreement

For many, an alternative dispute resolution in the form of mediated divorce can be an ideal middle ground. In a mediated divorce, a neutral third party who is well-versed in divorce law and experienced in handling sensitive issues will help you resolve your differences. This mediator is a trained expert in helping couples get past negative feelings such as pain and anger in order to work together as a team once more. This ability will be vital as you move forward to raise your child.

Mediated divorces are traditionally less expensive than court proceedings. The process allow you to maintain your privacy, while also helping to overcome resentment, bitterness and blame. They can, in some cases, help to find a friendship or at least an abiding partnership out of the destruction of a romantic relationship. Certainly, mediated divorce is one of the best options for couples to make the decisions that are best for their family while shielding their children from the pain and trauma that results from their parents battling it out.

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for my Custody Agreement?

Our divorce lawyers are also trained as highly experienced mediators, bringing you the best of both worlds. If you think that mediated divorce may help you to work out your custody agreement, dont wait. Connect with us for more information and to schedule a consultation.

Learn more about how to prepare for a successful mediation here.

Click here for another excellent resource for working together to resolve custody.


Disclaimer: The content provided in the blog posts of Jones Divorce & Family Law is general information and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact a lawyer for legal advice tailored to your specific situation. All articles are current as of their original publication date.