Things to add to a custody agreement?

posted 1 week ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
2107 posts
Buzzing bee

Without knowing what you already have in there, it is hard to say. What held us up in court was making changes to the existing plan that wasn’t clearly in the best interest of the child. They want to disrupt the day to day life as minimally as possible and mitigate any sudden changes so long as the child is in a safe environment.

My advice would be to assign a court appointed mediator (NOT a family member or friend) in areas where you two cannot agree, especially if your ex likes to exploit grey areas– you can get creative on who pays (ie split 50/50, the petitioning party pays, etc). Generally those fees aren’t large, but it cuts down on empty threats of “do this or I’ll see you in court”. Adding some wording to basically each clause that if you two cannot come to an amicable agreement, a 3rd party mediatior will make the decision for you, will hopefully allow cooler heads to prevail.

Post # 4
Member
13048 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Friends who have gone through this have included such things as how to handle a change in schedule, allowing first refusal when there is need for a babysitter, legal vs. physical custody ie decision making rights, who chooses schools, doctors, professionals, religious activities, and who decides if there is a conflict of opinion.

Also prohibiting sleep over girlfriends or sleepovers at girlfriend’s, requiring notice and info as to location if travelling, requiring a separate bed and bedroom with a door, no speaking negatively about the other, smartphone rules and grandparent rights, not allowed to alter appearance, for example haircuts, piercings etc. One friend had to document no age inappropriate movies, TV or activities. 

Post # 5
Member
4110 posts
Honey bee

Separate bed and bedroom is huge for the child. 

Post # 6
Member
66 posts
Worker bee

You might also want to add instructions for travel/vacation time and changes to the visitation schedule when the child’s travel interferes with the other parent’s visitation.  Also add something in there about permissble out-of-state travel or travel abroad.  I regret not adding this to my custody agreement.  My child’s father gives me a world of trouble whenever I want to travel out-of-state to visit my parents and siblings.

Post # 7
Member
1490 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

The one I’ve seen about a lot is first right of refusal. Which would mean that your ex couldn’t just let his new girlfriend or mom or dad or whoever watch your daughter if he decided he didn’t want to be with her on his time. He would have to offer her to you to take back. To me that would feel important if I didn’t want my kid hanging with random people on his time instead of him. It kinda forces him to actually spend time with her on his time or give up his time. It also would let you feel more in control over who gets to watch her etc. so if there was a girlfriend you didn’t like or didn’t want her alone with your ex mil, he wouldn’t be able to do that. 

Post # 8
Member
2107 posts
Buzzing bee

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@mrsssb:  things to keep in mind with a ROFR– there’s oftentimes a time limit placed on them, so it’s not just *any* time OP or her ex need a sitter, or whatever.

Also, OP you said it was split 50/50– but who is considered the CP and the NCP? A lot of times they won’t grant the CP a ROFR, but will allow the NCP since they typically have less time than the other parent.

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@zl27:  ugh, this also did not work for our parenting plan, unfortunately. We did have to provide pictures of the rooms (both homes), but the judge threw out anything like shared spaces/bedrooms unless an emergency order was petitioned. In hindsight, I’m glad and understand why they did it, plenty of people cannot up and move homes or living arrangements just because an ex spouse wants to slide that into a clause.

Post # 9
Member
4110 posts
Honey bee

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@fromatoz:  a judge threw out the requirement for a bed inside an actual bedroom? 

Post # 10
Member
261 posts
Helper bee

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@mrsssb:  this is so hard to enforce in reality.

My lawyer advised against it saying it just comes off as controlling and unless you’re willing to petition every time this happens it’s pointless.

Post # 11
Member
2107 posts
Buzzing bee

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@zl27:  you said, “a separate bed and bedroom”

Thr judge threw out the “separate bedroom” part. My husbands ex wanted to slide into our parenting plan that my stepchild *always* have their own bedroom free of any siblings. The judge didn’t like that wording and the reason for that is because situations change, and it can get really sticky. What happens if you travel, does the kid require their own hotel room? Or visit family? Or you have more kids and two share a room? What judge wants an emergency order drafted every time the kid goes to grandmas because the ex knows that they’ll be sharing a guest room with their cousin? It just creates a way for high conflict parents to continue to be high conflict. 

Anyways, they required we submit pictures of the living space to ensure it was adequate. And of course that included their own bed– but guaranteeing the room part was what I was referring to that was hard to enforce. 

Post # 13
Member
5785 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

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@mg8301:  he sounds like a nightmare. Do you think you’re being too nice, somehow giving him the idea that you’re a pushover he can boss around still?

Post # 14
Member
2107 posts
Buzzing bee

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@mg8301:  Sounds like its more just trying to anticipate his jerky behavior then, right? Ugh, that’s hard to do– I’m sorry! 

I’m looking at ours seeing if there’s anything else that would be helpful to add to yours that hasn’t been mentioned. Maybe ask your lawyer about putting a date in there for a future revision, that way you’re not having to do this so often? I think in my state it is every 5 years a parenting plan “adjustment” is allowed. So maybe add that in the language of the contact, all parties agree on these terms until June 2025 or something like that to keep from going back and forth to court. 

Post # 15
Member
4110 posts
Honey bee

I got so screwed as a child and teen by the custody order not having language about a bedroom and a separate bed that I am sensitive to it.  

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