So your case is being settled and the joint custody agreement is being
prepared. Here are a few items to consider placing in the Stipulation.
It is impossible to list every possible scenario that could arise but
the following are some of the more common concerns.
1. Joint Custody will require joint consultation in advance so that meaningful
participation can be achieved on major impacting issues: medical, educational,
religious, risky extra-curricular activities. Day to Day decisions are
made by the respective parent with the child.
2. Some parents will require joint agreement on major issues.
3. Final Decision making authority in the event of a disagreement usually
goes to the primary residential parent subject to the right to go back
to court and let a judge decide.
4. Some parents will agree on "zones of influence". Medical decisions
made by one parent; educational decisions made by the other parent.
5. Obviously there are numerous variations on parenting schedules. Include
legal and religious holidays, summer recess, school breaks, Monday holidays
become three day weekends, birthdays. Start and end time may be different
6. Relocation prohibitions should be negotiated.
7. Right to passports and travel itinerary.
8. School photo forms, award and other celebratory events, inclusion on
school contact list.
9. Anything else that you consider important.
Negotiating these provisions is important because the agreement will live
on until the children are 18 years old. Do not hesitate to discuss these
issues with your attorney.