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What should I include in a custody agreement?

As a Colorado parent, you want only what’s best for your children. This is true even if you and your spouse are facing divorce, which can be a tumultuous time for all involved. Fortunately, you can relieve some of the pressure associated with divorce by creating a solid custody agreement which lays out each parent’s roles and responsibilities.

When it comes to the creation of a custody agreement, Parents suggests adding in terms that allow you to remain flexible should unforeseen circumstances occur. For instance, should you be unable to keep a pre-arranged visit, your ex can be given the “first right of refusal” before asking loved ones for assistance. Your children should also have a say in the arrangement, which is bound to evolve as they grow older.

In the same token, all custody agreements should be devised with what’s best for your children firmly in mind. To this end, kids are often best served by custody arrangements where each parent has equal time. Also referred to as joint custody, children typically experience less stress due to the divorce if they can maintain a healthy and loving relationship with both parents. In the event you opt for sole custody, the non-custodial parent will be tasked with providing child support.

Your authority when it comes to making decisions on behalf of your children should also feature in a custody agreement. Legal custody refers to the parent who is responsible for making major life decisions regarding schooling, health care needs and other matters. If you have a joint custody arrangement with your ex, you should both share in the decision-making equally. If you have a sole custody arrangement, your agreement must outline who has the authority to make decisions and what type of decisions those will be.

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