A Parenting Agreement is a written statement that both parents sign up to as a way of establishing the ground rules around the way that they will parent the child.
Generally, these sorts of agreements work best when they are flexible and updated regularly to take into account how the child(ren)’s needs will change and develop.
It can cover anything you both feel is important, most parents include things such parenting time arrangements, their children’s education and rules around new partners.
Parenting Agreements work best when they are not too prescriptive, are flexible and are regularly updated to take account of children’s changing needs over time.
Try to see it as a working document to help you manage your parenting relationship rather than a legal contract that should be monitored in minute detail.
Making a parenting plan is cheaper and less stressful than going to court.
Community-based family support services that offer dispute resolution can help parents make a parenting plan to suit the particular family circumstances. Some family support services have examples of parenting plans that may help parents.
If parents continue to disagree about parenting arrangements, they may need an order from a family court.
If you want this agreement to be legally binding, you will need the help of a lawyer.
Making a parenting agreement legally binding
First you will need to get your lawyer to draft a ‘consent order’, which is a legal document confirming your agreement and signed by both parties.
To get this order approved by the court, you will need to fill in a C100 court form, which we can help with, and send it, along with three copies, and your draft consent order to your nearest family court. You will also need to pay the standard court fee, which is currently set at £215.
A judge will then approve your consent order to make it legally binding, unless they feel that the agreement isn’t in the best interest of the child(ren).
If you are considering making a parenting agreement legally binding, it is advised that you speak to a lawyer to discuss your options.
You can download a model Parenting Agreement HERE