Why Child Custody Arrangements Should Be Made Official

Although every child custody lawyer hopes that the folks involved in their cases can work things out in a civilized fashion, they're likely to still push for the arrangements to be made official. Let's look at four good reasons you should retain child custody lawyer services and get everything in writing.

Medical Decisions

In law, both biological parents will typically have a say in making medical decisions unless one has been completely stripped of their rights. Putting these rights in writing and acknowledging them with signatures, however, can make life vastly easier for both parents. This is especially the case if a medical professional questions if one of the parents has the power to make medical decisions.

Educational Issues

One of the earliest challenges with custody-related issues for many families comes from the educational system. Who can sign a kid up for school? Should they go to a particular school? Especially if a child has special needs, it can be important to make these sorts of decisions. As with medical choices, a normal custody agreement will leave both parents with a say in how a kid is educated.

Bear in mind that these concerns will continue long after you've enrolled a kid in school. For example, they may eventually go to college or a trade school. Custody issues can be a determining factor in if and how they can seek financial aid.

Continuity If Both Parents Die

Parents want to be the stalwarts in their kids' lives, but the risk that both parents may die has to be accounted for. Likewise, the even less probable scenario of both parents dying simultaneously or in succession should be considered. It doesn't matter that these are slim possibilities because the chance that a child's wellbeing will be negatively impacted is reason enough to address a potential problem.

In particular, it's worth thinking about how the law will handle the transfer of custody to relatives upon the deaths of both parents. With a clear custody agreement in place, the court will be able to start the process by working with the relatives of the parent who had primary physical custody. If necessary, they can then work outward from that point. Most importantly, this reduces the odds the children will be placed with foster parents while the issue is sorted out.


What happens if one parent needs to move out of state for work? The law requires a child to have access to both parents under most circumstances. If moving for work is a strong possibility, it should be addressed in the custody agreement.

To learn more, contact a child custody lawyer.