Sharing a child with someone you’ve divorced or split up with is extremely challenging. In addition to deciding which parent the child spends time with when, you and your co-parent must agree on things such as medical, financial or educational issues.
You have most likely heard custody court horror stories, and it is true that custody litigation can be complicated and stressful. It is always best if you and your co-parent can come to your own agreement on custody, as it can save you time and money and is often easier on your child.
If you are lucky enough to reach a custody agreement with your co-parent, you may wonder if you still need to go to court and make it a court order.
Yes, and here’s why
There are many benefits to making your agreement a court order. Before doing so, you should make sure the terms of your agreement are fair.
Pennsylvania parents have various custody rights. Speaking with an experienced custody attorney about your agreement can provide you with the assurance that your rights as a parent are not being violated.
Once you’ve received confirmation that your agreement terms are fair, the agreement should be put into writing and filed with the court.
At that point, your agreement becomes a legally binding court order. If circumstances change in the future, you can always modify the order, but in the meantime, your co-parent cannot change the terms without your permission.
Don’t miss out on time with your child
A court order also protects you from being denied rightful custody time with your child. For example, right now you could agree on a shared custody schedule, but if you begin dating someone new, your co-parent could use that as an excuse to deny you your custody time out of feelings of bitterness or jealousy.
Everyone hopes for a lasting, peaceful custody agreement. Making your custody agreement a court order is not a sign of distrust, but a practical and responsible decision.