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3 things to consider when making child custody agreements

A child custody agreement is a roadmap that you will follow when you are dealing with your child's other parent and figuring out how things are going to work with your child. This agreement has to include several points so that you and the other parent can turn to it when questions come up. If you are trying to get the initial child custody agreement drawn up, be sure to think about these points during the process. When necessary, a family law attorney can aid you in deciding important points to consider.

Decision making

One of the most important factors that you have to consider is who is going to make decisions for your child. This can be one parent, both parents, or North Carolina courts. You will need to think about choices that have to be made regarding education, medical care, spiritual matters, and additional topics that may be important to you. Making these plans now can clearly define who needs to be contacted when decisions must be made. As you are drawing up the agreement, be sure to think about what will happen in an emergency if the primary decision maker isn't present or available to make these decisions.

Physical presence

Another major decision is who is going to have physical custody of the child. In the past, typical visitation schedules defined that one parent had the child most of the time with the other parent having much less access. This isn't the case any longer. More parents are using a shared custody model where the child spends equal amounts of time with each parent. Of course, this isn't likely going to be a perfect division of time; however, it does allow the child to spend as much time as possible building a positive relationship with both parents.

Holidays and special events

The schedule detailing where the child will spend time covers most days of the year. However, a special schedule may be necessary for holidays and other special events. In some cases, the exact arrangements can't be included in the agreement. Instead, it may be noted in the plan that parents have yet to make arrangements for special events. For example, parents might have to share vacation plans by a certain date allowing the child to vacation with one parent without sacrificing time with the other parent. Being as specific as possible is usually the best idea in these cases so that you and your ex both know exactly what to expect and how to plan.

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