Once you have decided to get divorced, you may naturally worry about how the process will impact your and your young children’s futures. After all, in your mind, spending time with the children is far more valuable than any asset you have.
The great news is that you do not have to take your child custody issues to family law court, which can breed animosity and ultimately have a negative impact on the entire family. Instead, you and the other parent can take part in informal negotiations and amicably reach an agreement on how you will handle child custody in the future. Here is a peek at the process of producing a parenting agreement in Arizona.
A look at what to include in the parenting agreement
This type of agreement is a written agreement that highlights your and your spouse’s decisions regarding custody following your divorce. For starters, the agreement can explain who the children will live with (physical custody), as well as who will make critical decisions about how to rear the children (legal custody).
Your parenting agreement can also provide a detailed visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. Furthermore, you can use the agreement to spell out how and when your children will see their grandparents or friends of the family. You can also mention in your agreement where your children will go for birthdays, vacations and holidays. For instance, you may have the children take turns spending Christmas with you and the other parent.
A look at the court’s process of approving your parenting agreement
You and your spouse have come to an agreement on a variety of matters related to child custody. Now what? Your next step is to lay out all of your decisions in writing. Then, you can present this parenting agreement to the family law court for approval by a judge.
You and the other party will likely have to respond to a few questions that the judge may pose during a court hearing. The judge’s aim during this type of hearing is to ascertain that you both decided on your own to sign the parenting agreement and that you fully understand what it says. The judge should have no problem approving it if it takes into consideration your children’s best interests and is fair to both parents.