California Child Custody Parenting Agreement – Family Law Code 3020
A parenting agreement, also known as a “custody and visitation agreement” is a written agreement between you and the other parent in regards to the time-share and decision-making for your child. Time-share refers to a schedule for when your child will spend time with you or the other parent. Decision-making refers to the right and responsibility of you and the other parent to make all decisions regarding your child’s health, education, and welfare.
You and the other parent can create a parenting agreement with the assistance of a San Bernardino child custody attorney. The parenting agreement becomes a court order once you and the other parent signs and the judge approves it. Once the parenting agreement is filed with the court, it becomes a court order.
Generally, you or the other parent can modify a parenting agreement by writing a new parenting agreement. However, if you and the other parent cannot agree on issues in the parenting agreement, you would need to request the court to modify the current custody and visitation order. In such situations, the court would require you and the other parent to meet with a mediator prior to a court hearing. The court prefers parents to reach an agreement with the help of a mediator rather than requiring your case to proceed to a court hearing.
Change can be difficult for your child. When you and the other parent are creating a parenting agreement, you should consider the best interest of your child. When you decide to create a parenting plan, you should consider all of the following:
- Your child’s basic needs, such as love, protection, guidance, health, and rest;
- Your child’s age, personality, experience, and wishes;
- Make sure your child has regular, consistent times with you and the other parent;
- Put enough details in the parenting agreement to avoid confusion;
- Give your child a sense of security and reliable routine.
What should be included in the Parenting Agreement?
A parenting agreement should detail the physical custody arrangement as well as the legal custody arrangement. For physical custody, the parenting agreement should include the dates, times, holidays, vacations, and other special days your child will spend with you and the other parent. Also, the parenting agreement can include information as to whether you, the other parent, or both, shall be responsible for the child’s activities.
As for legal custody, the parenting agreement can explain whether you, the other parent, or both will have the right to make important decisions for your child. The parenting agreement can specify which decision you or the other parent can make on his or her own and which decisions require both you and the other parent to agree.
Other things to consider when writing a Parenting Agreement
When parenting time is missed due to illness or an emergency, the noncustodial parent may want to be allowed to make up the time missed. Thus, when writing a parenting agreement, you and the other parent should include reasonable “illness contingencies” to provide guidance for these situations.
Rely on the experience of Wallin & Klarich
There are many issues to consider when writing a parenting agreement. Thus, if you are currently in the process of writing a parenting agreement, it is imperative that you have an experienced San Bernardino child custody attorney to guide you. The skilled child custody lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience in child custody cases and in drafting parenting agreements. With the guidance of a Wallin & Klarich attorney, you can be assured that the drafted parenting agreement will meet the needs of both your child and yourself.
With offices located throughout the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties, a Wallin & Klarich will always be available for you wherever you happen to live. To speak with a Wallin & Klarich attorney today, please call us at (888) 749-7428. We will be there when you call.