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While many Missouri divorces between parents are often complex and complicated, others are quick and easy. This is because Missouri parents who can still cooperate with each other can bypass many court hearings and negotiations by working together to come up with a parenting agreement for their children.

Parenting agreements are finalized, written agreements that cover how the two parents will work together to raise their child or children. There are certain areas that are typically covered in such agreements, including where the child will live full time, when the other parent may visit the child and who will make the major decisions involving the child. Additionally, the agreement may also cover what type of contacts third parties including grandparents may have and which parent the child will spend vacations, holidays and birthdays with. These agreements can also include other terns depending on each couple’s unique situation.

Once an agreement has been written up, both parties will be required to meet with the judge. At this time, the judge will ensure that both parties understand the terms in the agreement and that both parties signed the agreement voluntarily. If the agreement seems fair, the judge will approve the agreement. Once the agreement has been approved, the court can uphold its terms should they be violated by either party.

Parents who are going through the divorce process always face certain challenges when their children are involved. However, a family law attorney can assist a client in a child custody dispute and negotiate a visitation schedule that works in the best interests of the child. An attorney representing the non-custodial parent can assist with negotiating a schedule that allows the parent to spend important dates with their child, including holidays and birthdays.

Source: FindLaw, “The Parenting Agreement”, accessed on Feb. 25, 2015