My xh and I are doing our separation agreement as a contract rather than a court order. However, my lawyer says that most of the child custody agreements go into a court order and recommends that we do this as well. I'm just wondering which is to my advantage?
My xh doesn't want custody of the children but he does want to have the right to visit them. He sees them a couple times a week for dinner but that it all at this point. He hasn't started to pay child support yet but that would start once our divorce is finished.
From what I understand, a contract agreement would be something that he and I could change if we both agreed to it and we wouldn't have to go through a court. By having a court order there is more legal muscle if something happened (like if he didn't pay support). Being in contempt of court would mean possible jail time, etc.
But I also wonder if it might leave me more vulnerable to changes in the custody arrangements. If he decides he wants to have shared custody then he could go to a judge and ask for that, even if we both don't agree to it, right? I suspect he would easily get partial custody if he asked for it since there really aren't any reasons for him to not have the girls.
If we stick with a contract, then he can't get custody unless we both agree to it. But then if he took the girls or didn't pay support I don't have the same legal protection, from what I understand.
I doubt that this would ever happen. He isn't very interested in being a dad, he just wants to hang out with the kids once in a while. But he has a new GF and I've noticed that he is starting to talk about having them more on his own now. I'm assuming this is because he would have her around to help him with the girls. Not sure that will last, though. We are on pretty good terms, too, so it is hard to imagine that things would go bad, but I want to be smart going into this.
I've spent over a year trying to get our separation agreement finished (due to a very slow and unresponsive lawyer). I want to just get this whole thing done, but also want to make sure that I'm doing the very best thing.
Has anyone here done the custody part of the agreement as a contract rather than a court order? Any light to shed on the advantages vs. disadvantages?