Even after your divorce is final and you’re ready to put your ex-spouse out of your life, if you have children together, you need to maintain some type of relationship. Neglecting to do so will take a toll on your children, all the while making it more difficult for them to enjoy their childhood.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to make life easier on yourself, while also putting your children in the best situation possible (given the circumstances).

The creation of a parenting agreement is one of these things. As you work through your child custody dispute, you’re able to negotiate with the other parent to create an agreement that governs what will happen in the future. It’s never easy, but negotiating and compromising will eventually lead you to the end of the road.

What should you include?

There’s no simple answer to this question, as one parenting agreement doesn’t have to be the same as the next. Some of the things you should include are as follows:

  • Where the children will live, also known as which parent will have physical custody
  • If one parent will have legal custody (or if it’s shared)
  • A fair visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
  • A schedule outlining where the children will spend major holidays, special occasions, vacations and anything else of importance to the parents
  • A system for making changes and dealing with disputes that arise

The nice thing about a parenting agreement is that it will keep you on track in regard to the way you and your ex-spouse parent your children. As long as the two of you are willing to abide by the agreement at all times, it’s easy to avoid disputes.

If a change is necessary or a dispute comes to light, the parenting agreement can also help with that. Violating a court-approved parenting agreement is a big deal, as legal consequences can come into play.

While you understand the importance of following the parenting agreement, the other parent may continue to fight back. You don’t want to turn a small problem into something big, but if they continue to violate the parenting agreement, you’ll want to learn more about your legal rights. The last thing you want to do is let it slide, as this can make matters worse in the future.