Sample Custody Stipulations
It’s important that parents put in necessary custody stipulations in their child custody agreement or parenting plan. Custody stipulations, also called custody provisions, provide rules and principles for the parents to follow as they raise their children. Parents can put stipulations into the agreement or parenting plan to ensure that both parents adhere to certain standards and conditions whenever the child is in that parent’s care.
Parents should put a stipulation in the parenting plan for anything they want the other parent to be required to follow. The information in the custody agreement and parenting plan become the custody order, and this is a legal document. Both parents are legally obligated to follow the custody order, and if they don’t they can be held in contempt of court. Thus, having something in the custody order is the only way to guarantee the parent will do it–and the only way to have a punishment if the parent doesn’t do it. So, parents should consider what rules and standards they want as part of the law. Here are some sample custody stipulations that parents commonly put in their custody agreements.
1. Information about joint custody and decision making. Parents need to have information about how they will share decision making responsibility for the child. Stipulations are a good place to provide further information about how the parents will make decisions and share that obligation. A specific stipulation could spell out that each parent must give input when deciding on the child’s schooling, medical care, religious upbringing, etc. There could also be a stipulation that spells out the punishment if a parent makes a decision without consulting the other parent.
2. School and extra-curricular events. It is usually wise for parents to include some stipulations for how they will handle school and extra-curricular events. The mother and father can put in a provision that states that both parents must discuss and agree before enrolling the child in a particular extra-curricular event. Or that a parent must inform the other parent if a school event falls on the time the child is with the other parent. There can even be stipulations that spell out when it is acceptable for each parent to attend the school and extra-curricular events.
3. Transportation for exchanges. Along with figuring out the custody schedule, parents need to decide how they will get their children from one home to the other. This can be done through stipulations that include information about if the parents will meet at a neutral location for exchanges, if one of the parents will drive the children to the other house, the requirement of the child to wear a seat belt during the transporting, consequences if a parent is late, etc. This can make the exchanges go more smoothly and can eliminate future disputes.
These are just a few of the custody stipulations that can be added to a parenting plan. We’ll look at some more in the next post as well.