Often, because of domestic violence, substance abuse or other issues, joint parenting will not be appropriate. However, in these cases, the court will want to insure the non-custodial parent’s access to information, and the ability to at least be consulted about matters involving the children. This is one type of such an arrangement.
WHEREAS, the parties agree that wife shall have sole custody of their three minor children, JOSEPH DOE , born (date); JEFFREY DOE, born (date); and JOHNNY DOE, born (date); and
WHEREAS, the parties have further agreed that the residential circumstances of each parent favors this award of custody; and
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY AGREED TO, BY AND BETWEEN THE PARTIES, AS FOLLOWS:
- The parties have carefully weighed and considered the question of the custody of their minor children. In doing so, they have been guided solely by considerations touching upon the children’s welfare. The parties acknowledge and agree that wife shall have sole custody of their minor children, JOSEPH DOE , born (date); JEFFREY DOE, born (date); and JOHNNY DOE, born (date).
- Husband and wife agree that all decisions affecting the best interests and welfare of JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY on issues involving the health, education, summer and extra-curricular activities of said children shall be made by wife. However, wife agrees to provide information to, and receive input from husband in connection with these issues.
- The parties further stipulate and agree that the husband shall have visitation with the parties’ minor children, JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY, as often as practical – given the schedules of the husband and the parties’ minor children. The parties believe that frequent contact between the parties’ minor children and the husband is in the minor children’s best interests, and will facilitate their upbringing, and is, therefore, to be encouraged. The parties further stipulate and agree that the husband shall have the following minimum parenting time with JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY:
(a) Alternating weekends from after school on Friday until 6:00 p.m. Sunday. Husband shall pick up children at school and return them to the wife’s home;
(b) Additionally, husband shall be entitled to one additional weekday (Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday) each week, which he shall pick by the 27th of the month prior for the next month, notifying the wife of same by email on the 27th day of each month. This visitation shall also be from after school until 6:00 p.m., unless on a Monday when the boys have Scout meeting, in which case, he shall return them immediately after the meeting at 8:30 p.m.
(c) The following legal and religious holidays on an alternating basis, with the _________ to have the first of said holidays: Thanksgiving Day through the week-end; July 4th; Memorial Day; Labor Day; Easter; and the Christmas holiday to be divided into two (2) periods, the first period to commence at 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve and end at 10:00 a.m. Christmas Day, and the second period to commence at 10:00 a.m. Christmas Day until 8:00 p.m. Christmas Day night, with the parties to each have the children for approximately one-half of the children’s Christmas vacation from school, and one-half of the children’s Spring vacation from school;
(d) The parties shall each have the children on their own birthday and on Mother’s Day and/or Father’s Day, as may be appropriate, and shall alternate the children’s birthdays, with __________ having the children during odd-numbered years;
(e) Each party shall also have exclusive parenting time with the children for a period of up to two weeks each Summer in either July or August, the exact month of which shall be agreed upon by the parties on an annual basis, and which shall be the subject of written notices between the parties to be delivered via email annually by May 15th. Wife shall have the right to first choice in even number years and husband shall have the right to first choice in odd number years; and
(f) Holiday, birthday and Mother’s and/or Father’s Day parenting time, as specified hereinabove, shall take preference over weekend, Summer and vacation parenting time, and in the event husband is to have the children for a holiday which falls on a weekend the wife is to have the children, or vice versa, the party entitled to have the children for the holiday shall have the children for said holiday, and the parties shall commence a new sequence of alternating weekend parenting time the following weekend.
- The parties agree and acknowledge that it is in the best interests of the minor children that both parents instill and generate an affection on the part of the minor children for their parents, and, in order to accomplish this, it is necessary that each party assume the responsibility of frequent association with, and attention to, the children, and further, that each party refrain from making any insulting, derogatory or deprecatory remarks or comments about the other to, or in the presence of, the minor children. The parties shall also cooperate in accommodating the other who may wish to have the children for some special event or occasion.
- The parties agree that each party shall be afforded access to the school and medical records of JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY. The parties further agree that, to the extent required by either a school district in which said minor children are enrolled, or a provider of medical services to said minor children, either party shall be authorized to (i) have access to information concerning JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY, and/or (ii) release information concerning JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY to any third party.
- The parties agree that wife will timely inform husband as to all school functions, meetings and other activities in which JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY are involved, so as to enable husband to attend said events and be an integral part of said minor children’s involvement in same.
- Each parent shall promptly inform the other of any serious illness of JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY which shall require medical attention while said minor children are in the physical possession of that parent. Emergency surgery necessary for the preservation of life or to prevent a further serious injury or condition may be performed without consultation with the wife, when necessary for the preservation of life or to prevent the further serious injury; provided, however, that if time permits, the wife shall be consulted, and, in any event, informed as soon as is reasonably possible.
- Both parents shall inform each other of any medical or health problems that arose while they had physical possession of JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY when the information of said medical or health problem would aid the other parent in the care and treatment of said minor children. Both parents shall provide each other with any medications which JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY are taking at the time of the transfer of physical possession and with sufficient information to allow the parent assuming physical possession to obtain refills of that medication.
- The provision of notice hereunder shall be via email, only, except in the case of an emergency.
- Neither party shall remove JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY from the State of _______ without leave of Court or by express written agreement of the parties. Notwithstanding the foregoing, either party may temporarily take said minor children to another State for vacation or for other good reason, upon reasonable notice to the wife. In the event either party shall remove JOSEPH, JEFFREY, and JOHNNY from the State of _________ for vacation or other good reason as contemplated herein, the removing party shall notify the other party of an address and telephone number where that party and said minor children may be reached in the event of an emergency.
- In the event any court of competent jurisdiction should determine that any portion or portions, or provision or provisions, of this Agreement are void or unenforceable, said portion or portions, or provision or provisions, shall be stricken from the face of this Agreement, but the balance of this Agreement, and the terms and provisions thereof, shall remain in full force and effect.