Standard Custody Agreements
You can write up your own custody agreement (on your own or with the other parent) or you can work with an attorney or legal professional and have them create it. If you don't want to pay the high cost of an attorney, and want to easily make your own agreement, you can use the Custody X Change software.
Custody X Change is software that creates parenting plans. You make each part of your agreement, and then you can print professional documents of your plan.
Traditionally, a standard custody agreement is a generic agreement that provides parents with basic parental rights and the accepted minimal amount of time with their child. A standard custody agreement typically gives one parent full custody while giving the other parent visitation rights.
Different jurisdictions will have their own standard custody agreements. The exact contents of a standard custody agreement may vary from state to state or even from county to county, but the basic principles are very similar. You should check with your local court if you want to know the contents of the specific standard custody agreement in your area.
You can use Custody X Change to create a standard custody agreement, modify a standard agreement to meet your needs, or create a completely customized agreement for your child.
A standard custody agreement should contain:
- Provisions for legal and physical custody
- A child visitation schedule
- Provisions for how the parents will handle important decisions in the child's life
- Rules for the care and custody of the child
- A method for making changes to the custody plan
When you use Custody X Change to create your custody plan, you can feel confident that you will create a professional document that contains all of the necessary aspects you need to include in your custody agreement.
Custody X Change will enable you to create a comprehensive parenting plan and child visitation schedule. You won't have to worry about leaving anything out since the program contains all of the elements you need. You simply navigate through each section of the software and enter your information.
A standard custody agreement usually contains a typical visitation schedule that consists of the other parent being able to see the child every other weekend, from Friday evening until Sunday evening. Some jurisdictions include provisions that also allow the non-custodial parent to see the child for a few hours one evening during the week.
The parents take turns having the child for holidays in even and odd years, rotating them throughout the year. The child will spend Mother's Day with the mother and Father's Day with the father.
A standard custody agreement usually gives the non-custodial parent extra time with the child during school breaks. A non-custodial parent can expect to have the child for several weeks in the summer if they agree to a standard custody agreement.
The every other weekend custody agreement was designed to give the child the minimum recommended amount of time with the other parent. The school week / work week may seem busy and may be overwhelmingly dictated be each parent's work schedule and the child's school schedule.
The every other weekend schedule rotates the weekends between each parent. This allows each parent to have equal amounts of the child's “free time”. When your child is in school, the custodial parent is able to spend mornings, (getting ready for school), and evenings, (after work) with the child. Weekends are the bulk of the time each parent will have to spend quality time with the child.
The every other weekend schedule may or may not work for your child. Depending on the type of relationship your child has with each of you, this schedule may or may not be what is best for your child.
If your child is exceptionally close to one parent, a standard visitation schedule may be in the best interest of your child.
The standard visitation schedule may be perfect for busy people. When both parents work all week, it may be difficult to spend quality time with the child until the weekend.
You can use Custody X Change to create your child visitation schedule. The schedule prints out in written and calendar form. It is easy to make changes to the schedule so you can use the software to create various scheduling scenarios in order to get a clear look at your various options.
The way you create your visitation schedule and temporary child custody agreement should mirror the needs of your child. Every child is different and each family has unique needs.
A standard custody agreement may be perfect for some children. Other children may require more time with the other parent. As your child's parent, you are the person who knows your child best and who is equipped to make this decision.
You should consider what kind of schedule the other parent would like to have. As long as the other parent is being reasonable in his or her request, this can help you find common ground and compromise.
You should not try to hurt the other parent by attempting to cut visitation time. Instead, focus on what your child needs.