When it comes to custody agreements, one of the most common questions asked is “how long are they good for?” Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question since the validity of a custody agreement largely depends on the circumstances surrounding it. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you understand the longevity of a custody agreement and what factors can impact its validity.
The first thing to understand is that custody agreements are legal documents that are typically drafted during divorce or separation proceedings. These agreements outline the terms and conditions of how child custody will be shared between the parents, including visitation schedules, decision-making authority, and child support. Once both parents have signed the agreement and it has been approved by a judge, it becomes a legally binding document.
In most cases, custody agreements remain in force until the child reaches the age of majority, which is typically 18 years old. However, there are some circumstances where the agreement may no longer be valid before the child turns 18. For example, if one of the parents violates the agreement, the other parent can seek to have it modified or terminated altogether. Additionally, major life changes such as relocation, incarceration, or a change in employment may also necessitate a modification of the agreement.
It’s important to note that custody agreements are not set in stone and can be modified or terminated if one or both parents petition for a change. However, the process of modifying a custody agreement can be complex and may require the assistance of an attorney. In some cases, a judge may also need to review and approve any modifications to the agreement.
In summary, custody agreements are typically considered to be valid until the child reaches the age of majority. However, various circumstances can impact the longevity of the agreement, including violations, major life changes, and the court’s approval of modifications. If you are facing a situation where you need to modify or terminate a custody agreement, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process.