Temporary Custody Agreements

How do I make a custody agreement?

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.

Make Your Parenting Plan Now

What is a temporary custody agreement?

When parents separate and begin the custody process, an interim custody order will be put in place to take care of the child's needs until a final custody agreement is reached. A temporary custody order contains the arrangements necessary for the care and control of the child until a custody order is finalized.

There are other situations that may warrant a temporary custody agreement besides divorce. Temporary custody may be granted to the other parent or a third party if outstanding circumstances occur, such as:

  • A parent has a health issue and requires hospitalization or extended care
  • A parent must travel for work, including military duty, and is temporarily unavailable to take care of the child
  • A parent is incarcerated
  • A parent is deported
  • A parent is a having financial difficulties that make it impossible to care for the child
  • Any other circumstance that would prohibit a parent from being able to take care of their child

These types of custody arrangements are in fact temporary and the custody of the child is typically returned to the parent once the circumstances return to normal.

Parents who wish to assign temporary custody to someone else may want to go to court to obtain a temporary custody order. This will ensure that the party who is caring for their child in their absence will have the legal ability to obtain medical care for the child and be able to deal with the child's school.

 The remainder of this article will pertain to the temporary custody of a child with parents who are separating or divorcing.

What should I include in my temporary custody agreement?

Your temporary agreement will most likely serve as the foundation for your permanent custody order. Your temporary agreement should include all of the things that a permanent one does:

  • A child visitation schedule and designation of physical custody
  • A declaration of parental responsibilities and designation of legal custody
  • Specific rules regarding the custody and care of the child
  • Rules regarding the conduct of the parents as such conduct may affect the child

Your temporary custody agreement shall serve as a trial agreement. You should include all of the details that you want to be included in your permanent agreement.

Following the temporary plan will help your gauge whether or not each parent will be able to follow the plan, if the plan works for your child, and whether or not any changes need to be made before finalizing the agreement.

Custody X Change is an excellent tool you may use to create an all-inclusive custody agreement.

How does my temporary agreement affect my permanent one?

The best interest of the child is the main concern of the family court in child custody cases.

Some of the factors the court considers are the history of care of the child and the child's stability and security.

If parents are unable to reach a permanent custody agreement, it is quite common for a judge to adopt the temporary agreement and make it a permanent order.  The judge will consider the fact that your child has been following the temporary agreement for a certain amount of time and may want to continue the temporary schedule.

Since there is a chance that your initial temporary custody arrangements may become permanent, you should make every effort to make sure your plan is right for your child from the onset of your custody case.  

Can I change the temporary agreement?

Yes. You may petition the court to make changes to your agreement before it becomes final.
Many jurisdictions have waiting periods, which is the amount of time that must pass in order to have a divorce finalized. Depending on your state, the waiting period may range between three months to one year.

These states require parents to wait the required amount of time before their divorce is final in order for them to make sure that divorce is the right option for them. It also gives parents the opportunity to try out the temporary custody arrangements and make sure they are doing the right things for their children.

In addition to the waiting period, there may also be issues that arise in the process of the divorce that may prolong the length of time it takes to have the divorce finalized. If you are unable to reach an agreement and there are some portions of the divorce that need litigation, you could spend years in court.

During the divorce process, you may discover that there are portions of your temporary agreement that need modification. Perhaps the visitation schedule isn't working or you are experiencing problems with the other parent and need to add additional provisions to your plan. Sometimes circumstances involving your child change and your plan will need to change as well in order to accommodate the new situation.

If you need to make changes to your temporary plan before your divorce is final, you can go to court and ask the judge to make changes to your temporary custody order. You will need to provide compelling reasons for the changes if the other parent is against the modifications.

When you use Custody X Change to create your temporary agreement, you can easily edit the program to reflect any modifications that were made during the custody process.

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.

Make Your Plan

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.

Make Your Parenting Plan Now