Once your divorce is in the past, you have the opportunity to change your life for the better in the future.

If you have at least one child with your ex-spouse, you need to create a parenting agreement during the divorce process. With this in place, both parents understand what they can and can’t do in the future.

Although no two parenting agreements are the same, there are some key areas that are typically included:

  • Who has physical custody, as this is the parent who will live with the child
  • If one or both parents have legal custody
  • A visitation schedule for the noncustodial parent
  • A schedule outlining where the child will spend birthdays, vacations and holidays
  • How contact with extended family members will be handled

You don’t have to stop at these details, but they are among the most important to a healthy future for both parents and the child.

One other thing you may want to include is a system for making changes to the parenting agreement in the future.

You hope that your parenting agreement remains a viable option for many years, but as your child ages, you may need to make changes. For example, he or she may become more involved in school activities, making it difficult to spend time at home on the weekends.

With a system in place for making changes, you and your ex-spouse will always know how to adjust your agreement should the time come.

A divorce is sure to change your life, but you need to keep things stable for the sake of your child. A parenting agreement will help you do just that.