|What if we agree about
custody and visitation?
If you and the other parent have
already come to a fair agreement on the custody and visitation issue, you
may want to write your own "stipulation" and consent order. A
"stipulation" is a statement describing the agreement that you
have reached. A consent order is a draft for the judge to sign if s/he
agrees to accept your agreement. this means that the court can enforce the
agreement in the future.
If you choose to go this route, you and the
other parent should be as specific as you can to avoid future conflicts.
You should ask yourself, who has legal custody? Which holiday does the
child spend with you? What time and where may the other parent pick the
child up? What time should the child be returned home? What is the
procedure to follow if either of you are running late and won't be there
on time? How much notice should you be given if they are planning a
vacation? How far away may the other spouse move? What you might think you
can figure out as you go along could actually blow up into a full scale
war later. The Stipulations should state everything that you have
agreed upon. You should not rely on any oral promises. If you both
agreed on it, write it down (no matter how trivial it may seem now).
Technology offers some innovative and
creative ways for parents separated from their children to connect.
visitation is coming to be recognized by the courts as a potentially
important way to supplement in-person visits.
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