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Working out a child custody agreement with your ex

Working with your ex to determine what is going to be included in the child custody agreement isn't something that is going to be easy; however, it is sometimes the best option since both of you know your child. Using alternative dispute resolution methods might help you and your ex to determine these points.

If you and your ex are able to negotiate with each other, collaborative law or mediation might be the options you should consider. In these, you and your ex, as well as your respective attorneys, work together to decide on the issues. In mediation, you will have the help of a third-party mediator.

Another option is arbitration, but this option isn't used often in family law cases. If you opt for this choice, you would present your case to the arbitrator and your ex would do the same. The arbitrator would then decide on the issues. Unlike having a judge decide the case, the arbitrator's decision isn't necessarily the final word.

If you and your ex are able to work out the child custody terms, the parenting agreement must be submitted to the court for approval. The judge would consider the pertinent points of the case and determine if the agreement is fair. If the judge agrees to the points as noted, the parenting plan is finalized.

All child custody agreements must put the child's interests first. They must all follow the applicable laws. If you are in the midst of a child custody battle, learn all you can about custody here so that you can decide each point in the case using the knowledge you have on the matter.

Source: FindLaw, "Working Together to Resolve Custody," accessed Jan. 27, 2017

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