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Child custody agreements are getting more detailed

Detroit parents who are getting divorced must already go through the difficult process of determining the future of their children. With whom will they spend most of their time? What will the holidays look like? Who will pay child support? What is the child's preference?

In addressing these larger matters, parents are getting even more specific with child custody plans. More and more, parents are including meticulous religious guidelines and acceptable practices in the custody arrangements.

In these types of agreements, parents can specify religion, denomination and doctrine. They are also laying out guidelines for practicing religion. For instance, a document might say that a child must attend religious education classes through middle school and cannot quit before then.

Parents can also determine how religious celebrations will be organized. Who will pay for it? Who will host it? Will one parent be in charge of the guest list? These are all questions that can be answered in these agreements.

Besides religion, more comprehensive child custody agreements also place stipulations on issues from parental dating to discipline and medication.

In most cases, these arrangements prove to be beneficial for families who are splitting up. By clarifying guidelines very clearly, parents can avoid fights and can form a more stable support system for a child.

These arrangements work best when a divorce is amicable or when parents can simply agree that the focus should be on what is best for the child. Raising a child separately can provide a number of challenges. By agreeing on issues that are important to a child's future, parents can smooth the transition for all parties involved.

Source: The Washington Post, "Divorce's details: Custody agreements are getting more complex," Michelle Boorstein, Dec. 26, 2011

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