The most important asset or issue we deal with in family law are your children. Whether in a divorce or between unmarried parents, crafting a parenting plan in the best interests of your children is important. Not just now, but until your children are adults, you need a parenting plan that allows you and your former spouse or former partner to cooperatively parent.
Why do I need a formal custody order if we get along?
Whether or not you believe in the idea that “good fences make good neighbors,” there is no question that having clear rules makes it easier for former partners to work cooperatively to raise children. Just because you agree on things now, does not mean that you will in the future. I also find that people who believe they are on the same page find that they actually have significant disagreements once they commit it to writing. In the best cases, your custody order allows you and your coparent to have predictability in your lives, while also allowing you to make alternate agreements and arrangements as you see fit. In the worst cases, your custody order prevents your former partner from making decisions on a whim and leaving you without immediate legal recourse.
Most importantly, a formal child custody order ensures stability for your child or children. Children are remarkable resilient when shifting from a household with both parents to two households. The deciding factor is not so much the fact of a separation or divorce, but the parental attitudes towards it. Getting both parents on the same page is crucial to making sure you can focus on your child and provide stability for him or her.
Is my agreement with my partner enforceable?
Unless your parenting plan, custody order, or similar document was approved and signed by a judge, the answer is “no.” People write up all kinds of documents that purport to be a child custody agreement. These sometimes work well for a while. But when you need a judge to enforce that decision, it is of little use. When I say you need a formal child custody order, I mean one that a judge has reviewed, found to be in the best interests of the child, and approved.
I have extensive experience as an attorney focused on resolving child custody conflicts. I understand that every situation is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all custody order. As parents, Nikelle and I also recognize how important your child is to you, and understand the challenges in parenting even when both parents are on the same page.
If you would like to set up a consultation to discuss how Sherman Law Office, LLC can assist you in your child custody matter, please contact me at Sherman Law Office, LLC, (907) 290-8700, or send me a secure message to set up an appointment.