Child Custody Information & Resources
Information about creating a child custody schedule and agreement can be found here. Links to other resources as well.
As a parent who is trying to work out a custody situation, it can be extremely difficult to sort through all of the issues. Because you have so many decisions to make and different things to consider, you want to have access to the best child custody information possible.
This is especially true with your child custody agreement. You want to obtain all the information you can about different custody arrangements, custody schedules, how to divide up time between the parents, dividing the holidays between parents, etc.
This information is important because your child custody agreement has such a lasting impact on your life. It will dictate the time you spend with your child until the child is an adult.
Many parents, recognizing how crucial the child custody agreement is, pay the high cost of a lawyer to have as their source of information. However, attorney's fees add up and most parent's benefit from a source of information that can keep the bills down.
Every divorced parent needs to know about a product that gives the information they need about their child custody agreement and that costs less than what their attorney would bill them for one hour.
That product is Custody X Change.
Your custody agreement (or parenting plan) is going to be a document that you are going to have to abide by until your child reaches adulthood. It should be detailed and include as many stipulations as you can think of. The more details you have, the better your parenting plan will be.
As long as something is relevant and you feel it is worth including, anything may be included in your plan.
Some things you will want to include in your custody agreement are:
- The type of custody each parent shall have
- A schedule that dictates when your child will spend time with each parent
- A delegation of parental rights, responsibilities, and decision-making authority
- A method for dispute resolution
- A method for revising the plan without having to return to court
- Any provisions or stipulations you would like to include
Custody X Change is a computer software program that allows parents to create their child custody agreement.
The software is easy to use and even includes tutorials in case you get stuck. Basically, you go through the steps of the programs, enter your information, and check the boxes on the things you wish to include.
Custody X Change asks you all the right questions so you won't leave anything out of your custody agreement. The software also provides you with multiple options to choose from and there is plenty of room to add in anything else you would like to include.
The result is a professional looking document that is organized and easy to read. You will be sure to impress the judge, the mediator, and even your ex when you hand them the parenting plan you made with Custody X Change.
You will need to include a child visitation schedule as part of your custody agreement.
Where do you start? You can get out a notebook and a calendar and start crossing out dates...or you can make it easier on yourself and use Custody X Change.
With Custody X Change, you can choose the basic schedule you want (the software has multiple schedules to choose from) and modify it to meet your child's needs. You may also create one entirely on your own.
You choose the dates and times your child will be with each parent, and then you can set the calendar to repeat the cycle throughout the year.
After you have decided on a regular schedule, you may go through the program and divide up the holidays as you choose.
You can also add one-time special events, recurring special events, and vacation days that are different from the ordinary schedule.
All of this is outlined in a clear calendar form so it is easy to see the layout.
Each parent's days are shaded a different color so it is easy to tell when the child is with what parent. You can even choose the pick up and drop off times for all the days of visitation.
You can print out the calendar for the month, the entire year, or even years in advance.
It is easy to edit if you need to made changes or modifications, too.
Custody X Change also calculates the time-share percentage and overnight percentage that each parent has with the children. This is helpful for the parents to see as well as important for calculating child support.
Every state has laws pertaining to child custody. You can find these laws by searching through your state's legislation. The laws can be found in your state's "statutes" or "code".
Sometimes it can be quite challenging to find the specific information you are looking for within the law. Sometimes it can be even harder to make sense of all the legal language. The Custody X Change website has valuable information about the state laws that has been summarized in easy to understand terms.
You can use Custody X Change's search box to find specific information about custody laws where you live.
If you want to learn more about the custody laws in your state, you may want to check if there are any resources available where you live that can help you such as:
- The Bar Association. Your state's bar association may have a program where you can meet with attorneys that occasionally make themselves available free of charge to answer legal questions and provide free legal advice.
- Legal Aid. Low to moderate level income families may qualify to receive free legal advice and assistance from local Legal Aid groups.
- Domestic Violence programs. If domestic violence is a factor in your custody case, you may want to contact local organizations that might offer you some assistance.
- Father's Rights Organizations. If you are a dad in need of legal assistance, there may be local organizations that can help and offer advice.
- Pamphlets and other literature. Some states publish pamphlets and other similar types of literature regarding family law. Your local courthouse should know if anything like this exists in your area.
Of course, you can always consult with an attorney if you really need help, though it can be very expensive.
Each state has different laws regarding child custody and visitation, but there are a few things that are universal:
- There are two basic types of custody, though they may be called something different. Legal custody involves parental rights and responsibilities. Physical custody involves the physical care of the child and where the child shall live.
- Parents will either share custody or one parent may have sole custody.
- Custody decisions are based on the best interests of the child.
- A parenting agreement or custody arrangement is a part of every child custody case.
- A child visitation schedule is an important parent of the custody arrangements.
- Once a court order for child custody has been issued, you will be legal obligated to follow it unless it is modified on the agreement of both parties or the court.
- Child custody should be treated as both a right AND a responsibility.
- A child custody order made in one state will be honored in all other states unless and until it is modified.
- The court will make every effort to protect the child from harmful circumstances such as neglect, abuse, domestic violence, and substance abuse.
Most states do not consider the gender of a parent when making a ruling on child custody. Instead, the courts evaluate the merits or the case and use only relevant information when making a decision.