Burke Levy, P.C.

Agreeing on a child custody agreement in Massachusetts

When divorcing parents work together for the benefit of their children, the positives may be many. When it comes to child custody agreements in Massachusetts, parents who can iron out the details without involving the courts may be saving themselves and their children a lot of stress, and also potentially saving a lot of money. When parents come up with their own custody plan to present to the court, it may also save time.

A custody agreement should stipulate the particulars of what the parents agreed to. In other words, it should spell out the classification of custody -- whether that will be joint or sole custody. Other things to document are visitation schedules, from where and when children will be picked up and important issues regarding education, religion and decision-making processes.

The more specific a child custody agreement is, the better for the children and for the parents. When everything is transparent, there is no room for misinterpretation or error. Even issues like what would happen in the event of possible schedule changes should be included in the agreement. If parents are stuck on a certain issue, they could always choose to work with a mediator to help them iron out problems instead of having a judge make the decision for them.

A judge will always rule in accordance with what he or she believes is in the best interests of the children. A Massachusetts lawyer may be able to point out to his or her client what to include in a custody agreement to reflect a child's best interests. Since a family law lawyer knows the rules surrounding child custody, he or she may be able to offer invaluable guidance.   

Source: verywellfamily.com, "How to Draft a Suitable Child Custody Agreement", Debrina Washington, Accessed on May 11, 2018

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