Child custody matters, like
visitation and time-sharing agreements, are often the source of the most contention in a
divorce. Both parents will understandably want to spend the majority of time with
their children, and they will feel as if they always know what is best
for their children as well. In order to try to quickly resolve time-sharing
disputes, or avoid them altogether, many divorcing couples will feel tempted
to create an informal time-sharing agreement without an attorney or the
court present. While this might seem the easiest solution, the opposite
is usually true.
Why You Should Avoid Informal Time-Sharing Agreements
When something is informal, it is unenforceable. No matter how much you
trust your ex-spouse to stick to their word, they will always have the
option to “change the rules” of your informal time-sharing
agreement without warning and without fear of legal consequences. As a
parent who wants to ensure they see and raise their children in accordance
to a fair parenting schedule, this should be a concern for you.
Imagine a situation in which you are waiting for your ex-spouse to drop
your child off at your house for the weekend. Only, they do not show up
at the planned time. Three hours later, you call your ex-spouse, and they
tell you they decided to head to an amusement park with your child today
and that they will drop them off tomorrow morning. If you have no formal,
court-approved child custody agreement, your hands will more or less be
tied. To try to make certain the violation of your “rules”
does not happen again, you will need to bring the problem to your ex-spouse’s
attention, which could spiral into many more reignited disputes.
Other than unenforceability, informal time-sharing agreements are usually
a bad idea because they lack insight and foresight. There are so many
legal nuances that can arise after your divorce finalizes. Anticipating
them in writing is the best way to make certain they do not become major
problems later. With an informal contract between yourself and your ex-spouse,
the odds of you overlooking something minor or significant are high. For
example, what happens to your child custody plan during the summer or
national holidays? This is just one of many little important questions
you will probably forget to address if you do not get a legal professional
and a court to help with your divorce or
family law dispute.
Call Our Jacksonville Visitation & Time-Sharing Attorneys
With Owenby Law, P.A. by your side and representing you during your divorce,
you can be confident that your time-sharing agreement will work for you,
your spouse, and your child. To avoid complications and headaches caused
by informal time-sharing contracts, come to our family law firm in Jacksonville
today. During a
free initial consultation, we can learn about the unique concerns and details of your case, crafting
a solution that meets and exceeds your expectations.
Would you like to know more? Call 904.770.3141 today.