Even though your marriage is coming to an inevitable end, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may have decided to share custody of your kids. Co-parenting pursuant to a shared-custody arrangement is not always easy, however. Because minimizing conflict is good for your children, their co-parent and you, you probably want to draft a comprehensive custody agreement.
Provided they meet the best interests of the children, custody agreements may typically include many different provisions. For your custody agreement to be both meaningful and successful, though, you want to be sure to address a few important issues.
Regular parenting time
Deciding when the kids will be with each parent is likely your biggest task. You can probably either use a conventional time-sharing arrangement, such as an equal split, or craft a unique one that meets the needs of your post-divorce family. Regardless, when negotiating regular parenting time, do not forget to address holidays, vacations and other special events.
Even if your kids are healthy, they may eventually break a bone, acquire an illness or need some type of medical care. Your custody agreement should include a framework for making medical decisions, attending appointments and otherwise meeting the medical needs of your kids.
Even if you and your ex-spouse have the same religious beliefs, your custody agreement should probably cover religious practices. Outlining whether your kids participate in religious functions and designating responsibility for spiritual decision-making may benefit everyone in your family.
The needs of your family ultimately may require adding additional provisions to your custody agreement. Nevertheless, any effort you put into negotiating and drafting a good custody agreement is likely to pay dividends during your co-parenting relationship.