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How does a parenting agreement affect child custody?

Even in the best of circumstances, parenting can be a very taxing endeavor. One thing that can make things easier is if both parents are able to cooperate and share responsibilities. Unfortunately, this sort of teamwork becomes very difficult if parents are not getting along. And if parents are in the process of getting a divorce, working together may become a very strained proposition. In some cases, there may be anger and resentments that make it nearly impossible for parents to agree on the important aspects of child custody or visitation.

But it is in the best interests of their children for parents to find a way to table their personal disagreements and come to an agreement regarding their parenting obligations. So how can issues be resolved between parents? Well, one thing that can help is to get a plan in writing. A parenting agreement serves to formally outline each parent's responsibilities and privileges. Generally, a parenting agreement covers such areas as the following:

  • Visitation arrangements and schedules.
  • Physical custody of the child. That is, where the child will reside.
  • Contact with friends and relatives.
  • Legal custody of the child. That is, who will participate in the making of decisions related to the child.

Once a parenting agreement is completed and approved by both parents, it is typically submitted to the court for a judge's approval. If approved, the parenting agreement is typically considered a legally binding decree. Should one parent not adhere to the agreement, the other parent may be able to have the agreement enforced by the court.

Often, each parent will have an attorney act as a representative during the negotiation of a parenting agreement. If you are looking to make sure the details of your child custody agreement is fair and in the best interests of your child, you may wish to have a Texas family law attorney help you during the negotiation process of your parenting agreement.

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