Berman & Asbel, LLP

Creating a parenting agreement

Most Pennsylvania parents who are ending their marriages understand that they must put their young children first. However, this is often easier said than done as parents' egos can intervene. If the parents can work together, however, the kids are more likely to be happy and well-adjusted.

For the best results, parents should have a plan that will allow the children to adjust. In many cases, the parenting agreement allows both parents to effectively co-parent. Further, parents who are able to work together can foster similar rules at home so that the kids always know what to expect. By putting the agreement down in writing, the parents will have a road map that they can follow when disputes arise.

The parenting agreement should include certain things to make co-parenting easier for the parents. For example, the plan should outline where the children primarily live and the visitation schedule. The rules and how the children will be disciplined should also be included. The plan may also outline who can see the kids outside of the parents, including grandparents, uncles and aunts. Parents may even come to an agreement on when the kids can meet a new significant other.

Child custody disputes can always create stress for both the parents and the children involved. If parents absolutely cannot come to an agreement, a family law attorney may assist with negotiating a resolution. For example, if the parents cannot agree where the children will attend school, the attorney may provide arguments to the court for one school over the other. If a parent needs to modify their visitation schedule due to a new job or because the children are older and want to be involved in after school activities, the attorney may petition to modify the parenting agreement so that it reflects the parent's new schedule.

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