Parenting Agreement Template

Parenting Agreement Template

What Is a Parenting Agreement?

A Parenting Agreement is a document that outlines information regarding the custody of a child between parents. Usually, this is required in case of parents breaking up and filing for a divorce.

Alternate Names:

  • Child Custody Agreement;
  • Co-Parenting Agreement.

A printable Parenting Agreement template can be downloaded through the link below. The main conditions outlined in this agreement will usually include the following:

  1. The name of the main custody holder.
  2. The division of custody (if both parents, to what extent is custody shared?).
  3. A visiting schedule (if one parent is not granted custody).

What to Include in a Parenting Agreement?

A Parenting Agreement (or "Parenting Agreement Plan") will usually detail:

  • The type of custody agreed to by both parents;
  • Which parent holds legal custody and which parent holds physical custody;
  • Schedules regarding holidays, visiting hours, any other times when the child will be taken away, for example on a short vacation;
  • Information regarding the times and rules of picking a child up and returning them home;
  • Information regarding the process of making amendments to the agreement, should this need arise.

How to Write a Parenting Agreement?

Parents should work closely together to write a Co-Parenting Agreement. Remember that the child and their best interests are at the heart of this. If you want to write this plan yourself, ensure that it covers the following points:

  1. Detailed Visitation Schedule. This schedule should cover everything, including vacations, standard weeks, exceptions, and holidays. It should outline when the child will spend time with each parent during each of these schedules.
  2. Parenting Provisions. This part should clearly indicate the mutual agreement that parents have agreed upon in regards to raising the child. It should cover everything from medical care and education to religious practices and additional activities. It is also worth adding a section regarding resolving disputes and the terms of making any changes to the agreement.
  3. Financial Support. This varies with each state but there is a formula that can calculate this sum for you. Another option is of course to agree to another amount and include this in the agreement along with information about the payment plan.
  4. Special Provisions. Be sure to include any additional things you want to be on paper. For example, maybe there will be an arrangement with a nanny, other family members, or an agreement on how the child should be exchanged between parents.

How Do I Change My Child Custody Agreement?

A parent is within their right to request amendments to a custody agreement. The conditions for these changes are outlined in the custody agreement itself. Generally, if both parents are happy with the changes and there are no barriers or disputes, this simplifies things a whole lot more. Parents can simply write up a new agreement and provide it to the court.

However, in the event that there is conflict and one of the parents isn't willing to make the proposed amendments, this will be taken to court for a judge to decide. A judge will look at all the evidence and will uphold the amendments only if it is proven that the new amendments are in the interests of the child. This is quite a tedious and long process so it is best to think everything through at the very start and document it from the beginning. Of course, there are some instances in life where unforeseen circumstances could require changes to a current agreement, which were not previously known when signing the initial Custody Agreement.

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