In the US alone, there are more than 13 million single parents, according to the United States Census Bureau statistics report, wherein 80% are single mothers, and the rest or 1 in 5 are single fathers. And that just proves that most underaged children are often left in their mother’s care, be it due to separation, divorce, legal guardianship, or the death of the father. But, it does not mean that every child goes to his mother since there are also custody laws to abide when it comes to determining to whom the child goes. One of the essential documents to be signed by the parents or the custodians is known as the custody agreement form.
FREE 15+ Custody Agreement Samples
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How to Make a Custody Agreement Effectively
According to lackeypllc.com, more than 50% of child custody cases get settled by having the mutual agreement of the involved parents or legal guardians of the child. This means that both parties have agreed to sign a custody agreement stating the custody resolution for the child. Also, some come into terms without the assistance of a mediator, while a mere 5% required a custody evaluation to take place to get a final verdict. But, regardless if there’s a mediator or not, when you begin establishing a custody agreement, you must keep the following tips in mind:
1. Prepare and Plan Your Agreement
Getting into a child custody case and making an agreement to aim a resolution can be challenging when you’re ill-equipped. So, prepare all legal forms and documents. Doing so will help you have a guide for the contents and proof of your claims in the agreement. Also, you must decide the format and the overall layout of your agreement beforehand.
2. Know and Focus on Your Audience and the Parties of the Agreement
Are you making the custody agreement for your partner to sign into, or are there other parties involved, such as the court, a custodian, or one who signed the legal guardianship of the child? By knowing who the involved parties of the custody agreement are, you’ll be able to specify and include their identities in the agreement. Also, this is crucial when it comes to indicating the names of who will be affixing their signatures to validate and acknowledge the agreement’s terms.
3. Always Include Details to be Specific
A custody agreement serves as proof that a mutual agreement had occurred between the involved parties. But, aside from that, it also serves as a guide for the involved parties to know what their obligations and limitations are, as well as what the terms and conditions of the agreement will be for its duration. Therefore, be specific with each statement and inclusion in the agreement, particularly when indicating limitations, financial requirements, and roles.
4. Use Correct Grammar and Clear Language
You can use legal terms if you want to, but make sure that you explain or define each term that you are using in the custody agreement. Defining is essential, especially in ensuring that all the involved parties, such as your partner or the others involved, will understand the content as the way you want them to know. Furthermore, proofread the entire agreement and be consistent with the terms and conditions. Also, indicate whether the agreement is for full custody or temporary custody of the child, to avoid confusion.
5. Present the Agreement to the Other Parties
You might be making the legal agreement, but it’s not just you who’s involved in it and required to fulfill the responsibilities and obligations stated in its terms. That’s why it’s relevant that you present the custody agreement to the other parties, as well as an attorney who can guide you in meeting the standards and requirements of the state. Pay attention to the suggestions, feedback, and the words of the other parties to note possible changes in the agreement.
Are there different varieties of custody agreements?
Yes, there are different varieties of custody agreements since there are different types of custody arrangements. Each variety depends on the custody that the involved parties will be agreeing and establishing for the child. The most common is the sole custody agreement where one parent will be the sole custodian of the child, and the other is the non-custodian parent. Another is the joint legal custody agreement wherein both parents are legal custodial guardians, and therefore, will have 50-50 authority over the child. There are physical custody agreements and grandparents custody and parenting agreements that the court also acknowledges for as long as the involved parties sign it.
Do I have to have the custody agreement notarized?
The rule regarding having a notarized agreement for child custody depends on the state. Some states, such as Texas, only acknowledge a notarized custody agreement to be a legal exhibit for a case, and nothing more. While other states acknowledge the agreement when signed and sealed by a notary public. So, the best option for you to take is to ask and inquire about the state about the legal aspects and requirements of making child custody agreements.
How can I use your custody agreement samples and templates?
You can simply click on the download button that’s located beside the custody agreement template that you chose. Then you can proceed to access or open the template with a compatible editing software application program, depending on its file format. And right after, you can print out the agreement and have it notarized or signed!
The right custody agreement will benefit people involved, and most especially, it will clear out any concerns and issues. So, make sure that you include all the essential in the custody agreement form template that you will be using, and that everything discusses the best options for the child.
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