Karen Walsh, custody agreement solicitor Ireland, talks about the steps involved when a marriage or family unit experiences a break up. Unfortunately when a marriage breaks down and you face into divorce proceedings, the custody and access to your children can become a source of conflict and hurt. It is important to approach the proceedings with an open mind and be ready to listen to all parties involved. This will ensure that the very best interests of the children will be served. Where all parties involved can agree on issues during the early stages of divorce proceedings, this will be best for everyone, in particular the children and a parenting plan can be drafted that suits all individuals.
Custody Agreement Solicitor, Cork City, Midleton and Dublin, Ireland
What is a parenting plan? A parenting plan is an agreement between the parents or guardians of a child or children in order to outline all issues that may affect the child(ren) into the future. This plan may include but is not limited to maintenance payments, custody, access, schooling, childcare arrangements and welfare. Once both parties have discussed and agreed upon all the appropriate issues, an agreement will be drawn and will be signed by both parties. This agreement is only possible where both parties are willing to discuss, compromise and agree upon key parental issues. We would advise that both parties need to be willing, serious and open to reach an early agreement that will benefit the child(ren) involved.
An early agreement will ensure that court is avoided and that the welfare and best interests of the child(ren) is represented at all times. This approach also helps to maintain relationships between both parties and greatly reduces legal costs and unnecessary anguish across the board. This parental agreement will form the basis for how the child is parented and the obligations of parents in a clear manner. It is important that we realise the importance of the child(ren) during these proceedings and that their welfare is always at the forefront of any decisions made. Our dedicated solicitors and mediators are here to guide you through the process and make contributions that will highlight and issues that need to be addressed. A family law expert is best placed to explore issues that may not be immediately obvious to you and your family, however with a wealth of experience in these proceedings, we can assist with an amicable parenting plan that will always put the welfare of child(ren) first.
We would always advise on the avoidance of court when it comes to agreeing on a parenting plan as this will reduce costs and provide for a more realistic outcome that is tailored towards your individual needs and circumstances. An expert family law solicitor will guide you through every step of the process and will provide support and assistance to ensure a successful and agreeable parenting plan. We recognise that it is rare that all parties will agree on all aspects of the parenting plan, but we urge you to keep communications open at all times to ensure an amicable agreement.
Parental Agreement Lawyer Cork and Midleton
Respect and courtesy is key to parental agreements and it is of course important to show this respect to each other in front of children. By supporting each other on your parental path you can achieve outcomes that benefit both children and parents on a long-term basis. The emotional needs of the child along with educational requirements and disciplinary agreements can all be discussed during this process, with a view to a supportive alliance between parents. It is important that the children are aware that both parents are in agreement even though they may no longer be in a relationship.
It is vitally important that access and custody are never used as weapons to punish a parent. We recognise that there may be hurt in the relationship, however it is the welfare of the children that is of the utmost importance at this time. Children have a right to enjoy an equal relationship with both parents and unless there is a valid reason to do so, restricted access should never occur. It is important that parents present a united front at all times and disagreements or arguments should never occur in the presence of children.
To reach an agreement on a parental plan, we would recommend:
- Always make maintenance payments in full and on time as agreed. Your children depend on you financially as well as in other ways and it is important that they see this. In the event of a court appearance a Judge will always look for evidence that you are honouring your responsibilities as a parent.
- Respect the views of your ex-partner.
- Provide support to each other as parents, you are both on the same side when it comes to the welfare of your child(ren).
- Always honour any agreements or promises you have made. Stick to the basics of the custody arranged where possible and where you can not adhere to the arrangement, always give as much notice as possible or make alternative arrangements well in advance.
- Where an emergency occurs, it is important to be practical and work together. There may be times where one parent has to work late or where it is simply not possible to be present due to circumstances outside their control. Be accommodating.
- Show a united front in the presence of the children. Do not criticise or undermine the other parent.
- Recognise the fact that the other parent has as many rights as you do with regards to spending time with the children. Your children also have this right.
- You may be divorced, however there will be times when you will need to come together to celebrate family events. Whether it’s the wedding of your child, a birthday, communion or confirmation, it is important that you remain civil towards each other at all times.
- Make the parental plan clear to your child(ren). This will give them a sense of routine and will ensure they know they are still important to both parents. Have this chat together as a family.
- Schedule regular meetings or calls with the other parent. These conversations will allow you to discuss any matters that are of importance.
Family Law Solicitors Cork, Midleton and Dublin
Should you wish to read more about parenting after divorce, please browse our blog for further information: www.walshandpartners.ie/blog
Please feel free to contact the team of family law experts here at Walsh and Partners LLP for further information about reaching a parenting plan that suits your family.