Many unmarried partners may wish to clarify in writing their joint plan for custody and support of children during their relationship as well as upon a future dissolution of their partnership. This is highly recommended not only as a potential way to prevent expensive disputes between co-parents or against family members, but as a means to allow couples to think through their definition and goals for a partnership.
Co-parenting agreements are beneficial even for those planning to have children in the future because the agreement will provide guidance to the couple should disputes or issues arise prior to adoption or insemination and can be referenced in the couple's co-parent adoption petition as further evidence of their commitment to cooperatively parent a child.
Any private agreement between parents concerning the care and custody of minor children is subject to modification by the court in accordance with the child's best interest. Although not guaranteed to be enforceable, such agreements are essential to protect the non-biological parent's interests should court intervention be needed to resolve a future dispute between the parties.
For help drafting a co-parenting arrangement, contact Memphis family law attorney Susan Mackenzie.