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Child Custody Agreement template
Child Custody Agreement sample


What is Child Custody Agreement?

Child Custody Agreement Outlines child custody arrangements, including visitation schedules and parental responsibilities.



Sample template:



Child Custody Agreement


This Child Custody Agreement (hereinafter the "Agreement") is made and executed on this ______ day of ________, 20_____ (the "Effective Date") between Mr. John Doe (hereinafter the "Father") and Mrs. Jane Doe (hereinafter the "Mother"), collectively referred to as the "Parties," regarding the custody, visitation, and decision-making responsibilities concerning their minor child/children, ____________ (hereinafter the "Child/Children"). The Parties acknowledge and agree to abide by the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement, which shall be governed by and compliant with the laws of the United States of America.

1. Custody

1.1. Legal Custody


The Parties shall share joint legal custody of the Child/Children, granting both the Father and the Mother equal rights and responsibilities to make decisions regarding the Child/Children's health, education, and welfare. Both Parties shall have access to all medical and educational records pertaining to the Child/Children.



1.2. Physical Custody


The Parties shall also share joint physical custody, and the Child/Children shall have regular and continuous contact with both Parties. Each Party shall have the right to physical custody of the Child/Children for specified periods as described in Section 2 of this Agreement.



2. Custody and Visitation Schedule

2.1. Regular Schedule


On weekdays, the Child/Children shall reside with the Father from Monday to Wednesday, and with the Mother from Thursday to Friday. On weekends, the Parties shall alternate custody, with the Father having custody on the first and third weekends of each month, and the Mother having custody on the second and fourth weekends of each month.



2.2. Holiday and Special Occasion Schedule


The Parties shall alternate custody on holidays and special occasions, including but not limited to birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter, and any other holidays or special occasions as agreed upon by the Parties. For example, if the Child/Children spend Thanksgiving with the Father in 20XX, the Child/Children will spend Thanksgiving with the Mother in 20XX+1.



2.3. Vacation Schedule


Each Party shall have the right to an uninterrupted, two-week vacation period with the Child/Children each year. The Parties shall provide a written notice to the other Party specifying the dates and destination of the vacation at least 30 days in advance.



2.4. Changes to Schedule


Either Party may request changes to the custody and visitation schedule by providing a written notice to the other Party. Changes shall only be made upon the mutual agreement of both Parties. If the Parties cannot reach an agreement, the original schedule shall remain in force.



3. Decision-Making Responsibilities

3.1. Joint Decisions


The Parties agree to consult and make joint decisions on significant matters affecting the Child/Children's health, education, and welfare, including but not limited to medical treatments, enrollment in educational or extracurricular activities, and other major decisions.



3.2. Emergency Decisions


In case of an emergency, the Party having physical custody of the Child/Children at the time shall have the authority to make immediate decisions concerning the Child/Children's welfare, including decisions related to medical care. After the emergency has been addressed, the Party who made the emergency decision must notify and consult with the other Party as soon as reasonably possible.



4. Dispute Resolution

Any disputes, disagreements, or issues that arise between the Parties regarding the implementation or interpretation of this Agreement shall be resolved through good faith negotiation and compromise. If the Parties are unable to resolve a dispute through negotiation, they shall seek mediation from a neutral third-party mediator. If mediation fails, the Parties agree to submit the dispute to the competent court for resolution.



5. Entire Agreement

This Agreement contains the entire understanding between the Parties concerning the custody, visitation, and decision-making responsibilities for the Child/Children. It supersedes all prior negotiations, discussions, or agreements, whether written or oral, between the Parties relating to its subject matter.



6. Modification

This Agreement may only be modified by a written agreement signed by both Parties, which shall become legally binding upon execution. Any modifications must be in the best interests of the Child/Children and in compliance with applicable laws.



IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties have executed this Child Custody Agreement on the date first above written.

________________________________ ______________________________
John Doe, Father Jane Doe, Mother

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Common Sections of a Child Custody Agreement


In this Child Custody Agreement, you will see the following sections:

  1. Custody
  2. Custody and Visitation Schedule
  3. Decision-Making Responsibilities
  4. Dispute Resolution
  5. Entire Agreement
  6. Modification


Analysis/Summary of each section

  1. Custody : This section explains that both parents will share joint legal and physical custody of the child/children. This means they both have equal rights and responsibilities to make decisions about the child's health, education, and welfare, and the child will spend time living with both parents.

  2. Custody and Visitation Schedule : This section outlines the specific schedule for when the child will be with each parent. It covers the regular weekly schedule, holidays and special occasions, vacations, and how to make changes to the schedule. It's like a calendar that helps both parents know when they'll have the child and when they need to hand over custody to the other parent.

  3. Decision-Making Responsibilities : This section explains how the parents will make decisions together about important matters affecting the child, such as medical treatments and education. It also covers what happens in emergency situations when one parent needs to make a quick decision for the child's welfare.

  4. Dispute Resolution : This section describes how the parents will handle any disagreements or disputes about the agreement. They will first try to negotiate and compromise, then seek mediation if needed, and finally go to court if they still can't resolve the issue. It's like a roadmap for solving problems that may come up between the parents.

  5. Entire Agreement : This section states that this agreement is the complete understanding between the parents about child custody, visitation, and decision-making. It replaces any previous agreements or discussions on the subject. It's like a reset button that makes this agreement the only one that matters for these issues.

  6. Modification : This section explains how the agreement can be changed in the future. Both parents must agree in writing to any changes, and the changes must be in the best interests of the child and follow the law. It's like a safety net that ensures any changes to the agreement are fair and legal.

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