Skip to Content

Why Informal Time-Sharing Agreements Are a Bad Idea

Join the Owenby Law Team

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.