Once you have finalized your divorce settlement and child custody plan, you and the other parent must adhere to the terms of the settlement and child custody plan or face the threat of legal trouble later down the road. However, you could also have legal problems if your child custody plan is too strict or too loose.
It’s easy for parents to misinterpret a poorly organized child custody plan and find themselves in a court dispute. Therefore, parents should make a concerted effort to pin down the right kinds of details. This can be achieved with well-thought-out parenting provisions.
A parenting provision is an additional clause or agreement about a specific topic within your child custody agreement:
New romantic relationships: Parents might want to codify how to manage their new romantic relationships with a parenting provision that looks like this: “The child will not be introduced to new romantic partners until a new partner results in marriage.”
Child custody exchanges: Child exchanges on visitation day can be another source of conflict. A provision like this could help: “If the noncustodial parent is more than 15 minutes late to the child exchange on visitation day, the custodial parent may assume that the other parent isn’t coming and cancel the visitation.”
Religion: Parents can also come to an agreement about religion with provisions like this: “The children will be raised under Episcopalian faith,” or, “The children will not be raised under any religion and they will not be taught to be religious,” or, “The children will practice the faith of the parent with whom they are at the given time.”
There are an infinite number of useful parenting provisions you may want to use in your parenting plan, so make sure you investigate this topic — and the standard parenting provisions North Carolina parents usually want to use — before you finalize your child custody plan. The more foresight and planning you put into this document, the less likely you will be to have a difficult argument with your ex while raising the child together.