DIY Parenting Agreements

parents arguing in front in children

Considerations When Drafting a Parenting Agreement

If you have children and are in the middle of a divorce, establishing a parenting plan should be high on your priority list. While divorces are stressful to all parties involved, your children deserve structure and stability. A parenting plan, also known as a custody agreement, outlines how you and the other parent will continue to care for your children after a divorce or separation. There is no right way to create a parenting agreement, as the most effective contracts fit the needs of you, your children, and your situation. Nevertheless, all parenting plans include certain information. You can pay a Philadelphia, PA attorney to draft a parenting plan, or you could do it yourself. In order to ensure smooth compliance, rely on People's Justice LLC for help with your parenting agreement in Philadelphia, PA. Call us today at 855-577-7673 to get started.

Components of a Parenting Agreement

Each parenting agreement is unique and should fit the needs of the parents, child(ren), and circumstances. However, certain things should be included in all parenting agreements. Parents are humans, and humans have differing opinions. However, when drafting a parenting agreement, the main priority should be the child and his or her needs. What will make the child feel most comfortable? What are their preferences? And keep in mind that your custody plan must comply with state custody guidelines and laws for it to be accepted by the courts. Here are some things to consider when writing up a parenting agreement in Philadelphia, PA as well as items that you should include.

Parenting Schedule

A parenting time schedule details when your child will be with each parent. The plan should include information on daily living, holidays, and vacation time. When creating this schedule, it’s vital to consider your child’s needs — physical, emotional, and social.


Your parenting agreement should provide information on child exchanges. Will you drop off the child(ren) at your co-parent’s house or meet in a neutral location? The section on exchanges should also explain how parents will communicate necessary schedule changes.

Legal Custody

Both parents may continue to spend time with the children after a divorce. However, your parenting agreement must designate which parent(s) have legal custody. Legal custody defines who has the authority to make decisions for and about your child. Parents can share joint custody, or one parent can have sole legal custody.

Child Care

When parents are at work or otherwise engaged, who will care for the child, and who will pay for childcare? Your parenting agreement may also include the “right of first refusal.” This states that if a parent isn’t available for their scheduled parenting time, the other parent is offered the time first.

Child Support and Financial Information

A thorough parenting agreement will include information on child support. It should also mention who will claim the child on taxes. How will parents go about reimbursing one another for something that is the responsibility of both parents (i.e., fees for extracurriculars)?

Traveling and Relocating with the Child

Sometimes, a career forces you to relocate. Your DIY parenting agreement must include information on traveling and relocating with the child.

Plan Revisions

As children age and schedules change, parents will inevitably have to modify the parenting agreement. How you and the co-parent will execute this should be included in the original parenting agreement. You should also include information on how to resolve parental disagreements over revisions to the plan.

Parenting Guidelines

Parents invariably have different parenting styles. Coming to a consensus when you’re under the same roof is hard enough, but things get even more complicated when parents live in two separate homes. That’s why your parenting agreement should have guidelines as to how the child(ren) will be raised. Information about bedtime routines, food, discipline, and tobacco and alcohol use around the child should be part of the agreement. Sometimes divorced parents use the child as a messenger to communicate information between both parties. If one of the parents does not agree to this, make sure to include it in the parenting agreements.

Medical and Health Care

How will parents provide medical insurance for the child(ren)? How will parents pay for medical and dental costs? The plan should also include who will choose health providers for the child(ren).

child support consideration in parenting agreement

Contact Us To Get Started

Many people prefer to handle their affairs without court intervention. If this is you and you need assistance with your parenting agreements in Philadelphia, PA, give us a call at 855-577-7673. People's Justice LLC offers uncontested, no-fault divorces for Pennsylvania residents. We also have attorneys who can help coach you through the process. Give us a call. We’re happy to help.