All of this info about how schools are gatekeepers shows that schools make an awful lot of assumptions. When it was time to sign DSD up for kindergarten, DH did all of that. And at the time, he technically had no parenting rights to DSD. I guess DSD's mom is lucky that he put her on the emergency contact form, because neither of them had any custody paperwork until after she started 1st grade.
Originally Posted by JSMa
How does one go about finding moderator for a parental agreement?
I don't know how to find one other than getting referred through a lawyer (although it is probably as easy as looking in the phone book under "mediation services" or something like that). It might be an expensive proposition, though.
When it was time for DH and DSD's mom to do theirs, DH went to DSD's mom and said to her, "Hey, we can do this the cheap way, or the expensive way." The cheap way being work it out between themselves and then have a lawyer draw up the paperwork, and the expensive way being both of them go to a mediator/hire lawyers to battle it out.
It took a long time to hammer out the details. Months. The process in full took about a year, I think. Maybe more. DH drew up the parenting agreement as he thought it should work, and they would meet at a neutral, public place and discuss the finer points. The financial details were also in this agreement, and those proved to be the sticking point for them. When they hit a deadlock, they would just try again in a few weeks. Eventually, they got it worked out.
DH did spend a lot of time focusing on staying calm, no matter how irate or angry DSD's mom got. Eventually, I think that she realized that she was going to look pretty silly shouting at him in a public place with him not shouting back. He also had to make a conscious effort to not get into arguments about the past - who screwed who over back in the day. Those discussions were not productive and only fueled animosity. So every time DSD's mom would try to bring something up, he shut her down.
So it might not have been the easy way to do things, but it certainly saved a lot of money. It also probably got them used to calmly discussing things that they disagreed on, and they wound up with an agreement that everyone could live with, because they both had to give a little to make it work.
And even doing it that way, with the lawyer just drawing up paperwork and filing things, it still ran $2000.
I don't know how anyone could share custody of a child without one of those agreements, though. It is so nice to have a document spelling out every little thing. It saves a lot of arguing because everyone is already on the same page.