Law Office of Kevin L. Beard, P.A.

Making sure your parenting agreement works well for your children

Maryland parents who are drafting their parenting agreements with a separated spouse will want to make sure that the arrangements work well for their children. While staying realistic and practical with regard to what is comfortably possible for the parents, the best interest of the children involved should always take precedence in deciding parenting agreements. In order to ensure that this is achieved, parents will want to consider including several important points in their parenting agreements.

Parents should agree that -- barring an emergency situation -- they will provide 48 hours' notice when they plan to make a change to a pickup or drop off time for their children. Parents should also agree to talk with one another directly before making a change to their children's schedule and not place the burden on the children to deliver a message to the other parent.

Parents should agree to ensure that children are ready to leave at the time they will be exchanged to the other parent, that they will be on time and they will call ahead of time if they are running late or early. Parents should agree to strive not to schedule activities that conflict with the other parent's parenting time without the other parent's advanced agreement.

Parents may also want to consider including language that offers the other parent a chance to have more parenting time if one of the parents cannot take care of their children for over a day, so that the parent will have the opportunity to care for the child at that time. Parents may also want to agree to equally support their children's extracurricular activities and be present at events like school recitals, performances and games.

By signing off on the above in their parenting agreements, Maryland parents will help ensure the happiness and well-being of their children. It will ensure that children are offered the most stable childhood possible and have the ability to spend meaningful time with both parents during their upbringing.

Source: Montgomery County Circuit Court, "Sample Parenting Agreement Language," accessed June 09, 2016

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