If you meet with an experienced Houston child custody attorney, Cheryl Alsandor, you will learn that spouses commonly face the following questions and issues when negotiating parenting agreements:
Issue 1: Primary Conservatorship, Custody and Visitation. For most spouses, deciding with whom and where the children will live and how much time each parent will have with the children is the hardest issue to resolve during their divorce proceedings. Which rights and duties will each parent have? How will the children be transferred from one location to another? Will anyone besides you and your spouse be permitted to transport the children? If making a permanent decision is too hard at the beginning stage of the divorce negotiation, the parties may want to decide the issue on a temporary basis.
Issue 2: Electronic Access and First Right of Refusal. This involves questions about restrictions on or arrangements for phone calls, texts, or emails between the child and the parent not in possession of the child. Will you call each other first when a sitter is needed?
Issue 3: Birthdays and Holidays. Some questions here include where will the children be on important dates? Will they have two birthday celebrations? Will you accommodate the other spouse’s birthday? Will important dates be split in half, or will full days be alternated each year? How will long school vacations be handled?
EDUCATION AND HEALTH
Issue 4: School. Will you and your spouse present a united front regarding the children’s schooling? Who makes elective surgery decisions? Who will make psychiatric or psychological decisions?
Issue 5: Medical Care and Medical Information. Who will provide medical and dental care? Will you share information on every bruise and cold, or only major accidents and illnesses? Will you share uninsured, unreimbursed expenses equally?
Issue 6: Consistency of Household to Household. Here, many issues arise. Some of them include: No negative comments by the children about the other spouse? Relationships with certain friends discouraged? Payment and participation in extracurricular activities? Other activities encouraged?
Other questions that vary household to household will arise, but if your parenting agreement answers the above questions and both parents try to adhere to the agreement, many issues will be avoided. And the less you argue with your former spouse, the better life for the children will be.
If you want or need a Houston child custody attorney to help you create a parenting agreement, or help you with other aspects of your divorce, complete the form to the right.