Pennsylvania Family Law and Divorce
Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.

The Importance of Putting Custody Agreements in Writing

When it comes to child custody in Pennsylvania, parents often worry about deciding on a custody schedule. Once a schedule is set many parents feel like they are done as far custody is concerned. They mark the dates they have physical custody of the child on a calendar and move on. However, parents may want to consider adding an extra step to finalizing a custody agreement: putting the agreement in writing.

Parents often overlook this step because they fear having too much involvement from the courts. However, if parents can come together and decide on an agreement, they can submit their own agreement to the court and have it turned into an official Order of Court. If the custody agreement is registered in the court system, then both parents can ensure that the schedule they took so much time to create will be followed. More importantly, either parent will be able to enforce the order through the court system, should the other parent decide to refuse to follow the custody arrangement the parties agreed on.

Even when two parents are able to agree on most things when it comes to custody and raising the children, it is still beneficial to put the custody agreement in writing. More specific custody agreements are easier to enforce. For example, a custody order that includes specific times for drop-offs and pick-ups would be easier to enforce than an order that simply states the days that each parent will have custody. Written custody agreements can also include the schedule for holidays, summer vacation, birthdays, etc. Of course, these custody agreements are always modifiable, so as the children grow, parents can submit updated custody agreements to the court that reflect the new schedules the parents would like to follow.

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