In Georgia and other states, parents and guardians who become involved in custody disputes may be able to avoid going to court. While formal judicial resolution can provide useful resources for families during their battles, court cases are only one way to settle such arguments. Parents can also devise unique parenting agreements that set the terms of future interactions with their ex-spouses and children. These documents are commonly filed along with divorce paperwork, and they become legally binding after gaining official approval from a judge.
According to legal advisors, parenting agreements should address certain specifics. Though these compromises are dependent on the circumstances of each case, issues like physical custody of a child, parent visitation schedules and contact with relatives and third parties are all commonly included. Parents may also want to consider deciding where their children will spend time during significant events like birthdays and holidays. Those who draft vacation and custody schedules in advance can incorporate such details into their agreements.
Parenting agreements aren’t necessarily set in stone. While parents can rely on court assistance to deal with former partners who violate the agreed-upon terms, guardians are typically allowed some leeway. As such, agreements should include clauses concerning how changes will be administered and how future disputes will be resolved.
Child custody proceedings that go to court have the potential to saddle families with additional burdens. Filing fees and similar expenses can be significant, and parents with careers may struggle to attend mandatory meetings and court sessions. In some cases, court-ordered agreements include requirements that are hard for parents to follow successfully, and many divorcing couples pursue legally valid alternatives, like out-of-court agreements, with the help of capable attorneys.