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Negotiating a parenting agreement

When many Texas parents decide to divorce, many believe that they may be headed for a long and costly custody battle. However, this is not always the case. In fact, if both parents can work together, they may be able to negotiate a parent agreement that resolves their issues before the case ever makes it to court. Not only does this keep the cost of the divorce down, but it also allows both parents to have a say in how their children are raised.

A parenting agreement is a written agreement that lays down where the child will live, when the non-custodial parent may visit with the child and how disputes between the two parents will be handled. Additionally, the agreement also determines which parent is responsible for making the major legal decisions regarding the child and what type of contact other family members, such as grandparents and family friends, may have with the child.

Once the agreement is finalized, it must be submitted to the court for approval. If approved, the two parties may have an informal court hearing so the judge can ensure that both parents understand the terms of the agreement and whether or not the agreement was voluntarily signed. Once the agreement is approved, either party can use court to enforce the terms should problems arise.

A family law attorney may assist a parent with negotiating a parenting agreement as part of a divorce. If the two parties cannot come to an agreement, the attorney may also represent a parent in court by using evidence to show that what they are asking for is in the best interest of the child. If they are representing the noncustodial parent, the attorney may ensure that the terms being negotiated allow for the parent to have a beneficial relationship with their child.

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