Parenting agreements and court approval

As you approach divorce, one of your primary goals is to create a parenting agreement to keep you and your ex-spouse on the same page in the future. With this, it's easier to provide your children with the stability they deserve, despite the fact that there is a lot changing around them.

When creating a parenting agreement, you'll address a variety of questions. These five are among the most common:

  • Where will your children live?
  • Which parent will have legal custody of the children? Will you share this duty?
  • What type of visitation schedule makes the most sense for the non-custodial parent?
  • How will you approach contact with extended family in the future?
  • What system will you implement to handle disputes in the future?

These questions provide a good jumping off point, but many others are likely to move to the forefront as you negotiate the details of your divorce.

What about court approval?

Even if you work through everything in mediation, your parenting agreement still requires court approval. A family law judge will review the agreement with an eye toward anything that appears grossly unfair.

While not always required, you may have to partake in an informal court hearing to assure the judge that you understand the terms and conditions of the parenting agreement.

Is a violation of a parenting agreement a big deal?

A court approved parenting agreement is a binding court order that dictates the legal rights of both parents. You must stick to the terms of the agreement or take the risk of facing legal consequences.

For example, if your ex-spouse continually violates the terms of the visitation schedule, you may need to take legal action to stabilize the situation.

While it's critical to follow the parenting agreement as closely as possible, there's nothing wrong with remaining flexible. For example, if your ex asks to adjust their visitation schedule for the weekend, it's okay to comply.

It doesn't matter where you are in the process. If there's a parenting agreement in place, be sure to follow the terms and conditions at all times.

Visit our website and blog for additional information on creating a parenting agreement and protecting your rights in North Carolina.

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