Child Custody Can Start with a Parenting Agreement

Children are often one of the greatest sources of concern during divorce — for good reason. Even during an amicable split, deciding “who gets” the children can be difficult.

Some parents in North Carolina are able to agree on custody outside of the courtroom, either informally or through a mediation process. If so, parents can finalize the arrangement by creating a document called a parenting agreement. This is a detailed plan about child custody; it is individual for each family based on that family’s unique circumstances.

Child holding onto parent
Photo by Stephan Hochhaus

A parenting agreement typically explains where each child will live, with whom children will spend holidays, birthdays, and other special events, and how major decisions will be made.

The positive thing about a parenting agreement is that it can be presented to the judge and converted into a legally binding court order. A judge will usually approve of the agreement as long as the it was voluntarily signed by both parties and fairly negotiated.

Parents who are struggling to agree on child custody outside of the courtroom should request representation from a divorce lawyer. That attorney can represent the parent’s position in court and can help enforce the parenting agreement if it not being honored by the ex-spouse.

This information was provided by Triangle Divorce Lawyers, one of the many law firms who are advocates for the Second Saturday Wake County divorce workshop.

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