Me and my ex-wife have shared custody. But we don't have a documented through the court. Is there an easy way to get a documented without happen to see a judge?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Thank you for your question. A carefully worded Custody Agreement setting forth the rights and obligations of each parent and signed by both parents while they are on good terms is designed to avoid future disagreements which inevitably lead to bitter Court battles in the future and having a Judge decide the custody arrangement between the parents in accordance with the rule applied in all custody cases, "What will be in the best interests and permanent welfare of the child (or children)?"
In order to hold a party in Contempt of Court for non-performance of any term or obligation in a Custody Agreement, it must be entered as a Court Order and signed by a Judge. If it is not entered as a Court Order, the aggrieved parent cannot ask the Court to hold the other parent in Contempt of Court.
In situations where the children are old enough to experience the anger and bitterness which is inevitably displayed by the parents in Court proceedings, they will leave an emotional scar on the children which is not easily erased.
These Custody Agreements also serve to give the non-custodial parent some degree of assurance that the custodial parent will not make any unilateral decisions such as moving out of state or taker any other action which will adversely affect the rights and relationship of the non-custodial parent with respect to the children and will give rise to the right of the affected parent to file a Petition for Contempt against the other parent.
Experience has shown that where the rights, obligations, and limitations of the parents with respect to the children are clearly set forth in writing, there is less disruption and more security in the lives of the children.
ANDREA G. TILLIS