What Is a Parenting Agreement and What Happens If It's Violated?

While, in the media, we hear a lot about those few custody cases that have gotten heated, there are plenty of other ones that are either resolved through mediation or some other type of collaboration. In the case of the latter, a parenting agreement is often drafted outside of court.

A parenting agreement serves the role of spelling out how both parents have agreed to share custody of their child. It often covers details such as where your child will primarily reside, also known as physical custody. It will likely clarify which parent should be involved in rendering decisions about how a child should be raised or taken care of, factors that fall under the legal custody umbrella, as well.

Parenting agreements should also discuss visitation schedules each parent will have with their child. Included in that should be a discussion of how each parent should schedule or handle vacations, holidays, and birthdays should also be stipulated to in the contract.

A strategy for dealing with third parties, such as other family members and friends should be addressed in the agreement. A portion of it should also be dedicated to describing how modifications or disputes regarding it should be addressed if they arise in the future as well.

Even if both parents agree to a parenting plan, a judge is the one who must ultimately review and approve it before it goes into effect. Of paramount importance to the judge is to ensure the child's best interests are protected by the agreement. It's also important to the judge that each parent had a fair say in negotiating it.

A parenting agreement becomes legally binding once approved by a judge. There are, therefore, potential legal consequences that can pursued if one or both parents violate a court order.

If you and your ex have a parenting agreement in place that has been violated, then a Naples attorney can advise you of your rights in your case.

Source: FindLaw, "The parenting agreement," accessed March 15, 2018

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