What to Include in a Parenting Agreement

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  • Added: September 12, 2023

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As parents go through a divorce or separation, a parenting agreement becomes essential. A parenting agreement, also known as a parenting plan, outlines the terms and conditions the two parents have agreed upon for their children`s custody, visitations, and other issues related to parenting. This agreement plays an essential role in minimizing conflicts and ensuring everyone`s needs are met. In this article, we will discuss what to include in a parenting agreement and why.

Child Custody Arrangements

The first thing to include in a parenting agreement is the child custody arrangement. This arrangement details how the parents will share custody of their child or children. The plan should specify whether one parent will have primary custody, or whether they will share joint custody. The agreement should also include a schedule for visitation by the non-custodial parent.

Visitation Schedule

The parenting agreement should also include a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. The visitation schedule should be detailed, outlining the days and times that the non-custodial parent is allowed to spend with their child. This schedule should also include holidays and vacations and discuss how the transportation will look like.

Decision-Making Responsibilities

Another vital aspect of a parenting agreement is decision-making responsibilities. This section outlines which parent will be responsible for making significant decisions regarding the child`s education, healthcare, religion, and other critical decisions. Parents should discuss this section in detail to ensure that their child`s best interests are protected.

Child Support and Financial Responsibilities

The parenting agreement should also outline the financial responsibilities of each parent. It should specify who will provide child support, how much support will be allocated, and how the payment will be made. Keep in mind that child support is calculated based on a variety of factors, including each parent`s income, the cost of living, and the child`s needs.

Communication Methods

Communication is crucial in a successful parenting plan. The agreement should outline how the parents will communicate and how often. This communication can be through email, text messages, or phone calls. The communication plan should be flexible and adaptable to the child`s needs and the parents` schedule.

Emergency Situations

Lastly, the parenting plan should include a section that outlines how to handle emergency situations. This section should outline the appropriate steps that each parent should take in the event of an emergency, including who to contact and what to do. It should also discuss the procedures in case of unexpected changes in the parenting schedule.


Overall, creating an effective parenting agreement is essential to co-parenting successfully after a separation or divorce. The agreement should be a detailed plan that outlines everything that parents need to know regarding their child`s custody, visitation, and other crucial issues. Collaborate to create a comprehensive, flexible, and practical plan that meets everyone`s needs, especially the children. Consider consulting with a family law attorney or mediator to guide you in creating a parenting agreement that protects your child`s best interests.