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What one needs to know about parenting agreements

The California divorce process can be overwhelming for many couples, particularly if they have to deal with child custody issues. The child custody and support process can be made simpler if spouses can come up with a parenting agreement to resolve custody-related issues.

A parenting agreement requires parents to compromise and work together to come up with an agreement that will best serve the children. The agreement will include important details regarding the physical custody of the children, or where they will primarily live. The agreement will also specify visitation schedules and provide details regarding which parent will get the children on weekends, holidays, birthdays and breaks from school.

In addition to determining where the child will physically be, the parenting agreement will also specify which parent will have legal custody of the children. The parent with legal custody will get to make major decisions regarding the children's upbringing. For example, they can determine where the children will go to school, what after-school activities the children will participate in, and the religion of their children.

Many parents decide that joint physical custody, joint legal custody or both is the best option for their families. Other families decide that one parent is more suited to have physical or legal custody of the children. A parenting agreement can be customized to fit a children's needs and make sure that the family continues to work together post-divorce.

Once spouses have finalized a parenting agreement, it will be submitted to a judge for approval. If the judge finds that the agreement is reasonable and is in the best interest of the children, the court will approve the agreement. Once the agreement has been approved, it becomes a binding court order that both parents must follow. While it is not always easy to find common ground with an ex-spouse, working together for the sake of the children may prove to be the best option for one's family.

Source: FindLaw.com, "The Parenting Agreement," accessed on April 2, 2018

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