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What should be included in a parenting agreement?

It's no secret that child custody can be a contentious issue when couples divorce or otherwise split. Parents can fight over who will have physical custody, what visitation will look like and even how transitions will occur. Though, it is understandable to be upset when one realizes that he or she may not be able to have sole custody of his or her child, settling the matter does not have to be contentious. In fact, the matter doesn't even have to be heard before a judge.

What should be included in a parenting agreement? Many times, splitting couples can come to an agreement regarding child custody that leaves all parties satisfied and ensures that the best interests of the child are protected. A parental agreement can and should contain many elements. Physical custody should be addressed, meaning where the child will live.

Legal custody should also be agreed to, which is essentially determining who will be able to have a say in major decisions that affect the child. It is worth noting that both parents can have legal custody of their child. Other matters to consider include visitation, contact with extended family and who will be with the child during the child's birthday and holidays.

Even though this can all be discussed and agreed to outside of court, a judge will still need to approve the agreement. Failing to adhere to the terms of the agreement could land the parents back in court where the judge, and the law, will attempt to set things right.

Since parenting agreements can be long-lasting, it is imperative that those seeking to create one address all issues and do not feel pressured to accept terms that are unfair. Therefore, it might be helpful to have the assistance of a Louisiana family law attorney who can help ensure a parent's and his or her child's best interests take priority.

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