When you decide to divorce, you know that your life will change in many ways. This is definitely true if you have at least one child with the other person.

Although you want to do what’s in the best interest of your child, this doesn’t mean you’ll be able to avoid a custody dispute. There’s always a chance this could come to light, especially if you and the other parent are fighting for the same things.

Fortunately, there are ways to work through your problems, such as through mediation. With this approach, you work closely with the other parent to settle on a plan that works for all parties.

A parenting agreement is exactly what it sounds like. This legal document outlines the responsibilities of both parents, with some of the more important details including:

  • Which parent will have physical custody of the child
  • Which parent (it could be both) will have legal custody of the child
  • The visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent
  • Where the child will spend major life events, such as vacations, holidays and birthdays
  • How to handle contact with other family members
  • A system for dealing with any disputes that arise or changes that need to be made in the future

There is no way to completely eliminate stress during the divorce process, but there are steps you can take to ease the pain along the way. It all starts with knowing your legal rights and what to expect, which is why you shouldn’t hesitate to turn your attention to a parenting agreement.

Final note: You have the opportunity to customize the parenting agreement to suit your wants and needs. Even though there are some things you should include, such as those above, you have the ability to add others (as long as you work things out with the other parent).

Once you have a parenting agreement in place, it’s much easier to put your divorce in the past and co-parent in the future. This can go a long way in giving you peace of mind.