Once you understand what should be included in your Custody Agreement, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the steps to draft the document.
Follow the instructions below to make your Parenting Plan:
Include Each Party’s Information
Begin by clearly stating the names and contact information of each parent. Outline your current parenting situation, such as time spent with your child, financial contributions, and your child's needs.
Establish Custody and Schedule
Define where the child will primarily reside and how time will be divided between the parents. Include a detailed custody and visitation schedule, covering regular days, holidays, birthdays, and vacations.
Clarify Decision-Making and Financial Responsibilities
Determine which parent will make key decisions concerning education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Also, agree on the financial responsibilities of each parent, including child support, shared expenses, insurance, and future planning such as college funds.
Plan for Healthcare, Education, and Extracurricular Activities
Outline how the child's healthcare needs will be met and who will make medical decisions. Specify arrangements for the child's schooling and participation in extracurricular activities.
Set Guidelines for Communication and Transportation
Decide on a plan for parent-to-parent communication, as well as transportation logistics for exchanges between homes. Furthermore, agree on methods for resolving disputes about the parenting plan itself.
Manage Child's Relationships and Any Modifications
Establish expectations for the child's relationships with extended family and significant others. Also, define a procedure for making changes to the parenting plan as the child grows or circumstances change.
Set Rules for Travel and Relocation
Define the protocol for travel or relocation with the child, including notice periods and any other specific conditions. Ensure that each parent’s right to spend 2 weeks of vacation with the child or children is added.
Address Grandparent Visitation
Include that visitation between the child and their grandparents will be encouraged and facilitated.
Add Confidentiality Terms
Mention the requirement for each parent to maintain confidentiality regarding the child. Forbid the use of information that may be harmful to the other parent or child.
Review and Sign the Document
Go over the parenting plan thoroughly to ensure it’s in your child’s best interest and follows your state’s laws. Then sign the agreement.
Ensure that you avoid any mistakes during the writing process by using our Child Custody Agreement template.