Joel W. Anders, P.C.
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202-644-9609 301-200-5094
202-644-9609 301-200-5094

A parenting agreement is critical to your future

Protecting your children during and after your divorce is of utmost importance. Neglecting to do so can affect your children for the rest of their lives.

While there's no guaranteed way to avoid disputes with your ex-spouse in the future, a parenting agreement can go a long way in keeping you on the same page.

A parenting agreement, also known as a settlement agreement or custody agreement, is worked out during the divorce process. This document can include a variety of details related to custody, including but not limited to:

  • Which parent has physical custody
  • Which parent has joint custody
  • A visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
  • A schedule outlining where the children will spend birthdays, holidays, vacations and other life events
  • A plan for how the children will maintain contact with extended family

Some parenting agreements also have a section on how changes and disputes will be handled in the future. This is something to strongly consider, as it will give you structure in the event that you need to alter your agreement for any reason.

Once you negotiate the details of a parenting agreement, it's sent to a family law judge for final approval. While not always required, there may be an informal hearing before the judge to ensure that both parents understand the agreement and are voluntarily signing it.

Violating a parenting agreement

A parenting agreement is a legally binding court order that both parents are required to follow. It outlines your legal rights in Washington, D.C., and obligations, based on negotiations during your divorce.

Violating a parenting agreement is a big deal, as failure to do so can result in a variety of legal consequences.

For example, if your ex-spouse has visitation rights, they'll also have a visitation schedule. If they continually violate the schedule, such as neglecting to return your children at the agreed upon time, you may be in position to take legal action to request a modification.

It's not always easy to negotiate the terms and conditions of a parenting agreement, but you should do so with the idea that it will make your life easier in the future. With an idea of what you want to accomplish and how to protect your rights, there's nothing standing in your way.

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