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When married parents in Maryland make the decision to divorce, or if unmarried parents break up, it can be difficult to discern how to raise their child in separate households. While it may be difficult it isn’t impossible. There are certain tools at parents’ disposal to help with raising a happy, healthy child in separate households. One such tool is a parenting agreement.

A parenting agreement is a name given to a document that lays out the responsibilities, duties and rules that parents agree to when raising a child separately. Sometimes constructed during the child custody process, parenting agreements lay out a written agreement that outlines things like where a child will live, which parent(s) have legal custody and even how changes to the agreement will be handled in the future. These agreements are often in the best interests of the child.

This is so, because the better that parents communicate, generally, the better it is for the child being raised by parents in separate households. It can remove stress about what to expect from either parent and who has the decision-making power, if both parents cannot agree to do it together. Many things can be laid out in a parenting agreement — it can be custom built to provide a child with what they need specifically, especially in cases in which a child is extraordinary or needs special attention. There are many reasons parents and children alike can benefit from a parenting agreement.

Keep in mind, constructing a well-thought out parenting agreement requires communication on behalf of both parents. If parents are in a place where they can’t communicate, it could make the process of construction a parenting agreement quite difficult. Keep this is mind, especially if you and your ex are in disagreement about child custody. Every family’s situation is different and will require individualized attention.

Source: FindLaw, “The Parenting Agreement,” Accessed July 3, 2017