Separation and divorce can be a hugely traumatic event in a child’s life. The sudden change and departure of a parent can make them feel uneasy, fearful and may overwhelm their ability to cope. One of the best ways to mitigate the trauma for your children is to reestablish routine and consistency as soon as possible, and a parenting agreement is one positive step in the right direction. Collective Family Law Group will provide you with a parenting agreement lawyer who can help you and your partner create a parenting agreement as soon as you decide to separate. This way, you’ll minimise the disruption to your childrens’ lives.
What Is A Parenting Agreement?
In essence, a parenting agreement is a written, dated, and signed record of an agreement between parents about the care of children. The two parents can create the agreement independently, or they may choose to involve child custody lawyers to make sure the agreement is comprehensive.
It considers the best interests of the child. When deciding on what to include in a parenting agreement, you must first consider what’s in your child’s best interests. They have the right to feel protected, supported and to build relationships with both parents.
It outlines parental responsibilities. Each parent should have a role in making significant decisions that affect the children long-term. Your parenting agreement will outline the level of responsibility each parent has in the process.
It needs to be reasonably practicable. The parenting agreement needs to be practically based on your family’s individual circumstances. You need to consider the distance between parents, the ability of each parent to uphold their part of the agreement, communication between the two parties, and the impact that this arrangement will have on your children.
What’s The Difference Between A Parenting Agreement And A Parenting Order?
While your child custody lawyers at Collective Family Law Group can help you create both, a parenting agreement and parenting orders are two very different documents. If two parties can’t agree on a parenting agreement, then an application for a parenting order will need to be filed.
One is legally enforceable. A parenting agreement is created and agreed upon between the parents and is not legally binding. On the other hand, a parenting order is handed down by the family court and outlines the responsibilities of each parent.
A parenting agreement is cheaper. As a parenting agreement doesn’t require any legal assistance to create, it’s a far more affordable route for many parents. Suppose you’re interested in creating a parenting agreement without the help of a solicitor. In that case, Collective Family Law Group offers our Resolve Online program, which guides you as you work through your family law matter on your own.
A parenting agreement gives you more control. While an initial parenting agreement may guide the court’s decisions in creating a parenting order, it doesn’t mean the final order will include the same arrangements. Therefore, if you want control over how you and your partner parent your children, you need to be able to stick to the terms of your parenting agreement.
What Should Be Included In Your Parenting Agreement?
There are a few key things that should be covered in your parenting agreement. If you’re ever in doubt about what you should include, have a chat with your parenting agreement lawyer at Collective Family Law Group. We’ll make sure your agreement is as comprehensive as possible.
The division of responsibilities. Clearly outline which parent is responsible for what and how you’ll communicate about significant decisions.
The division of time spent with each parent. Your agreement should outline who the child lives with and the time spent with each parent. If your children spend lots of time with grandparents, relatives, or friends, you should factor this into your parenting agreement.
Methods of communication. You need to make arrangements about how the child will communicate with each parent or other people, whether that be via phone, email, or letters.
Special occasions. Holidays and birthdays are stressful for the children of separated or divorced parents, so make sure you make arrangements for these days a long time in advance.
How to change or dispute the agreement. If either party needs to change or disputes the parenting agreement, there needs to be a set process in place.
Factor in the child’s extra-curricular activities. If your children do weekend sports, participate in theatre groups, do church activities, or have planned birthday parties to attend, you need to acknowledge the division of responsibility in transport, finances, and attendance to these events.
Consider the child’s views. If your child or children are old enough to contribute their own opinions to the parenting agreement, make sure you listen and factor their opinions into the agreement.
If You Need A Parenting Agreement Lawyer, Contact Collective Family Law Group
At Collective Family Law Group, our practice focuses exclusively on family law matters. We’re industry experts in all matters of family law, including but not limited to matters of separation, property settlement, domestic violence, financial agreements, divorce, and child support. We strive to provide quality legal services with a resolution-focused approach to our clients’ needs, and our team offer practical legal advice and solutions in a professional, approachable manner. If you need a parenting agreement lawyer, contact Collective Family Law Group today.
We are committed to the efficient and prompt resolution of family law matters, in the most cost effective manner possible.
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