Creating a Child Custody Agreement that Works for Everyone

September 18, 2017 / 8:00 pm

In an ideal world, every child custody agreement would benefit the children as well as the parents. Yet such a result is less common than most assume.

Plenty of parents will push for child custody arrangement language that is weighed in his or her favor. The aim of such parents is often to prove the other party is inferior in the context of raising a child. This is the type of situation every parent should strive to avoid, not only to protect his or her own interests but also for the sake of the child.

The best child custody agreements, made with the assistance of a family law attorney, arrive at creative solutions for adults who will live apart yet participate in the child’s upbringing in a meaningful manner. A sharing of parental responsibilities makes life easier for the child as well as the parents.

Furthermore, a custody agreement that requires both parents to cooperate will be viewed by the court in a favorable manner if a modification arises at some point in the future.

Consider the Child’s Needs and Desires

This is not a time to be selfish. Your child’s needs and wishes should be given priority. Though your child probably won’t testify at a custody case open hearing, he or she will likely meet with the judge.

It is certainly possible for the court to decide on an arrangement that is contrary to your child’s preference. However, in most instances, the child’s opinion and statements play an important part in shaping the custody agreement.

Consider Location

The amount of space between parents is quite important. Pennsylvania statute dictates that a parent with physical custody can’t move too far away from the other parent unless specific procedures and rules are satisfied.

It might even be necessary for a family law judge to review the proposed relocation. The bottom line is the child should not be positioned far away from either of his parents. It is in the child’s best interest to spend time with both parents. This is not possible if a parent moves across the state, out of state or out of the country.

A Dose of Reality

It is important to recognize that child custody agreements pinpoint precise times for parenting in terms of drop-offs, pick-ups, time spent with the child and deadlines. Still, life happens. Anything from a flat tire to illness can interfere with a parent’s adherence to the agreement’s specific language.

So be flexible. If the other party is not consistently late or in violation of the agreement’s rules, a modification should not be necessary.

Family Law Attorneys at Penglase & Benson

If you have a legal matter to discuss, you need a trusted team of family law attorneys in your corner. The team at Penglase & Benson has the experience, knowledge and skills you need to emerge from your family law conflict with a just result.

Whether it is a child custody matter, divorce, alimony, adoption, name changes or anything else related to family law, we can help. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. Our family law attorney team in Bucks County looks forward to helping you work out an arrangement that helps you and your children.