Custody agreements are the heart of divorce and separating when children are involved. Long after property is divided and everyone has moved on with their lives, custody will remain an issue that you must deal with every day. This is especially true in a high conflict divorce and custody situation. A custody agreement needs to contain enough detail to make life livable for everyone involved.
Below you will find a very simple custody agreement that can be modified to work for joint custody, shared custody, and full or primary custody situations. The custody agreement should be reviewed by an attorney to make sure it is acceptable in your jurisdiction.
If you are in a high conflict custody situation, we highly recommend our ebook on Creating a Custody Agreement to make sure loopholes are covered in your custody agreement to avoid ongoing custody litigation and problems.
CUSTODY AGREEMENT AND PARENTING PLAN
Shared Joint Custody
______________________ and _____________________, do hereby agree that their children shall be in the joint custody of their natural Parents, with each parent having them (number) days at a time. Child custody exchanges shall take place on (day) at (time).
______________________ and _____________________, do hereby agree that their children shall be in the joint custody of their natural Parents, with (mother/father) having primary custody of the children from (day) to (day) and (father/mother) having custody of the children from (day) to (day) during the school year. During the summer the custody arrangement shall reverse.
It is AGREED by all parties that exchanges shall take place at (location) at (time), with both parties responsible for their own transportation.
It is AGREED by all parties that holidays shall be rotated by odd and even years, with (Mother/Father) having Thanksgiving/New Years in even years and Christmas/Easter in odd years. (Father/Mother) shall have the opposite schedule with Thanksgiving/New Years in odd years and Christmas/Easter in even years.
It is AGREED by all parties that the following definitions shall be given to holidays for the purpose of child custody and exchanges:
Thanksgiving begins _____________ and ends _____________
Christmas begins ________ and ends _____________
New Years begins _______________ and ends ______________
Easter begins _____________ and ends ________________
It is AGREED by all parties that vacations shall be scheduled during each parents regularly scheduled custody time. All parties shall inform the other parent where the child may be reached during vacation for emergency purposes, including but not limited to: address, phone, dates of vacation, within 30 days before the vacation.
It is AGREED by all parties that each parent shall have 2 weeks for vacationing during the summer. The weeks do not need to be consecutive, but must be taken in 7 day increments. (Father/mother) shall submit their scheduled vacation by April 30, so (mother/father) shall have time to schedule their vacation which should be submitted by May 30.
It is AGREED by all parties that school breaks shall have no bearing on the custody schedule or exchanges and children shall remain with the parent that currently has custody of them in a joint or shared custody arrangement.
It is AGREED by all parties that the non-custodial parent (father/mother) shall have custody during all school breaks not designated as a major holiday as outlined in the holiday section.
It is AGREED by all parties that child care shall be with a licensed, certified day care provider only. All receipts for care shall be made available to all parties within 10 days of the end of the month.
It is AGREED by all parties that both parents shall have access to child care records and bills, and be included on all pick up and emergency lists.
It is AGREED by all parties that each child may participate in (number) activities each semester. Neither party may schedule the child for activities on the other parents custody time, without explicit written permission.
It is AGREED by all parties that the parent signing the child up for the activity is responsible for paying for the activity unless otherwise agreed in writing.
It is AGREED by all parties that both parents shall have access to activity calendars and coaches and be allowed to attend practices and games.
It is AGREED by all parties that children shall attend school in (district).
It is AGREED by all parties that each parent shall be responsible for transporting the children to school during their custody time.
It is AGREED by all parties that each parent shall have access to the children’s school records and be included on all emergency and pick up lists.
It is AGREED by all parties that the children shall be in the care of (doctor) located at (address), (dentist) located at (address), (therapist) located at (address).
It is AGREED by all parties that both parents shall have access to all medical records and bills.
It is AGREED that all major medical decisions, defined as (definition), must be agreed upon by both parents.
It is AGREED by all parties that the children shall continue to be raised (religion).
It is AGREED by all parties that the children shall have access to both parents by phone and email. Neither parent shall withhold calls or messages from the children.
It is AGREED by all parties that neither parent shall move out of (school district) without notifying the other party at least 180 days before the scheduled move.
It is AGREED by all parties that no move shall take place that would have an adverse affect on the ability of one or both parents to partake in their custody time as outlined in this custody agreement.
*Get our Creating a Custody Agreement ebook if you are in a high conflict custody situation.