Shared Parenting Agreement Definition: Everything You Need to Know

A shared parenting agreement (SPA), also known as a joint custody agreement, is a legal document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parents in raising their child or children after a divorce or separation. This agreement is designed to ensure that both parents have equal access to their children and are able to contribute to their upbringing in a positive and supportive way.

While the specifics of a SPA may vary depending on the circumstances of the situation, there are several key elements that are typically included:

1. Custody Arrangements: The SPA will specify how custody will be divided between the two parents. This could mean that the child spends equal time with both parents, or it might involve one parent having primary physical custody and the other having visitation rights.

2. Parenting Responsibilities: The SPA will outline each parent`s responsibilities when it comes to making decisions about the child`s health, education, and general welfare. This might include things like choosing a school, making medical decisions, and deciding how to discipline the child.

3. Communication: The SPA will provide guidelines for how the parents will communicate with each other about the child`s needs and activities. This could include regular check-ins, sharing calendars, and agreeing on how to handle emergencies.

4. Child Support: The SPA will address how child support will be paid and by whom. This might involve one parent paying the other a set amount each month, or it could involve a more complex arrangement based on the parents` incomes and expenses.

5. Dispute Resolution: The SPA will include provisions for resolving disputes that may arise between the parents over issues related to the child. This might involve mediation or arbitration, or it could involve going to court.

It`s worth noting that the terms of a SPA can be modified if circumstances change. For example, if one parent needs to relocate for work, the SPA may need to be updated to reflect the new living arrangements.

Overall, a shared parenting agreement is designed to help divorcing or separating parents work together to raise their children in the best possible way. By outlining each parent`s rights and responsibilities, and providing a framework for communication and dispute resolution, a SPA can provide a sense of stability and consistency for both parents and children alike.