How to Create a Beneficial Custody Agreement With the Help of an Attorney

Navigating child custody and visitation rights with a spouse can be a difficult process. Working with a child custody attorney is a beneficial way to make this process easier. Attorneys are equipped to handle the legal intricacies of child custody, a courtroom scenario, or an uncooperative spouse. Below, the child custody attorneys at Rodier Family Law discuss how to reach the conclusion of a successful custody agreement with the help of legal counsel.

What are the Different Types of Child Custody?

There are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody pertains to a parent’s authority to make crucial decisions on behalf of their child, such as health care, education, counseling, and religious upbringing. Legal custody can be joint, with or without one parent having tie-breaking authority, or one parent may have sole legal custody. Physical custody refers to who the child lives with on a regular basis. Physical custody can be shared by ex-spouses or primarily given to one parent. If one parent has primary physical custody, their child or children usually spend the majority of their time with that parent, while the other parent has visitation rights.

What are the Basics of a Child Custody Agreement?

The agreement should specify who will have legal and physical custody of the child. Parenting arrangements, including visiting dates, holidays and vacation, should be stated in the agreement. Transportation between households should also be established in the agreement.

Major decisions—such as religious upbringing, education, and extracurricular activities—should also be addressed in the agreement. In the case of future modification of the agreement, there should be a section included in the agreement that notes the ability for the co-parents to make changes if necessary.

What are the Best Practices?

To limit the possibility of your case being reopened in the future, provide specific details and be as thorough as possible. Create a calendar for which days the child will be with you or your spouse. Make sure to incorporate holidays and school vacations into the agreement. Schedules can change at any time, so implement an advanced notice that you and your spouse must follow in the event that you need to switch days. Reaching an agreement allows you to be more creative and detailed with the terms.

Why Should I Hire An Attorney?

You have two options when creating a custody agreement: you can represent yourself, or you can hire an experienced attorney. When navigating a child custody agreement, you must understand the laws that may be applicable to your case and you must oversee all paperwork, deadlines and court dates. Once a custody agreement becomes part of a court order that order can only be modified by a court in the future if the parties mutually agree or the court finds that a material change in circumstances has occurred and the change is in the best interest of the child.

Child custody attorneys are familiar with the legal system, and working with an attorney can take some of the burden off your shoulders and help you to reach the best outcome possible in your case. They will also manage your case from start to finish and advocate for you and what is best for your family.

Contact the Experienced Child Custody Attorneys at Rodier Family Law Today

When navigating a legal process as complex as child custody, don’t go it alone. Our family law attorneys want to ensure that you and your child receive the best outcome possible for your family’s needs. To discuss your legal avenues, contact the experienced and knowledgeable child custody attorneys at Rodier Family Law today. We are proud to serve families in the Bel Air area.