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Parents can craft their own custody agreement with court approval

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Child Custody |

While many Georgia divorces are rife with disagreement, some parents can put their differences aside and work together for the children. There are some instances where they are even friendly about it and have a good relationship.

When there is room to negotiate, they can take the negativity out of a child custody and parenting time agreement and craft one on their own. It is important to understand the law when doing so.

Understanding a parent-crafted custody agreement

In a family law case, the parents are not required to wait for the court to assess the facts, gauge what is in the child’s best interests and decide on custody and parenting time. They can create their own custody agreement and parenting plan.

For example, the parents might want the custodial parent to have the child during the school week and then to spend weekends with the non-custodial parent. They could have a different arrangement in mind where the child is with the non-custodial parent during the week for several nights. They can select a joint custody template with joint legal, joint physical or a combination of the types of custody.

They might want to let the child stay with the non-custodial parent for the bulk of summer vacation, on holidays and special occasions. Or they can split these days as they see fit. Many factors are considered as part of the equation. The distance the parents live apart, what type of education the child is receiving, medical needs and special circumstances are all assessed.

The court does not need to agree to the parents’ plan. The key is the child’s best interests and if they are being served. Still, if it is a reasonable schedule and the child has everything they need in terms of education, a safe place to live, the basics like food and clothing, medical care, religious instruction if the parents choose to provide it and extracurricular activities, then the agreement will generally be ratified.

Parents creating their own custody plan should know the facts

Regardless of how the child custody agreement is created, parents should remember that they need to be protected. Even cordial family law cases can have their complexities and challenges will arise. To ensure the agreement stands up to scrutiny and the child is properly cared for, it is useful to have assistance in all legal matters of a family case.