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 a lawyer or legal professional and have them create it. If you don't want to pay the high cost of a lawyer, and want to easily make your own agreement, you can use the Custody X Change software.

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What is a temporary custody agreement?

When parents separate and begin the custody process, a temporary custody order takes care of the child's needs. This interim order sets arrangements for the care and control of the child until a permanent custody order is finalized.

Besides divorce, other situations may warrant a temporary custody agreement. 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 having financial difficulties that make it impossible to care for the child.
  • Any other circumstance that would prohibit a parent from taking 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.

To assign temporary custody to someone else, parents may go to court to obtain a temporary custody order. This ensures that the party who cares for their child in their absence has the legal ability to obtain medical care for the child and deal with the child's school.

The remainder of this article pertains 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 helps you gauge whether each parent can follow it permanently, if the plan works for your child, and whether 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 considers 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 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 child.

In addition to the waiting period, issues may arise in the process of the divorce that may prolong the time it takes to finalize the divorce. If you are unable to reach an agreement and some portions of the divorce 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're experiencing problems with the other parent and need to add more provisions to your plan. Sometimes circumstances involving your child change, and your plan needs to change as well 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 need to provide compelling reasons for the changes if the other parent opposes them.

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.

The easiest way to make a custody agreement

Creating a custody agreement on your own can feel overwhelming. You have to be sure to use airtight legal language and can't omit any required information.

Use technology to take the guesswork out of the equation. The Custody X Change app walks you through each step of creating a comprehensive custody agreement.

The result is a professional document that demonstrates your competence as a parent and secures your child's future.

The easiest and most reliable way to make a custody agreement is with Custody X Change.

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Long distance schedules

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Summer break

Parenting provisions


How to make a schedule

Factors to consider

Parenting plans:

Making a parenting plan

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Interstate, long distance

Temporary plans

Guides by location:

Parenting plans

Scheduling guidelines

Child support calculators

Age guidelines:

Birth to 18 months

18 months to 3 years

3 to 5 years

5 to 13 years

13 to 18 years


Joint physical custody

Sole physical custody

Joint legal custody

Sole legal custody

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Calculate time & overnights

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