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In situations where parents are in agreement about child custody arrangements, the courts do not have to get involved. The only time child custody issues are mandated through court is when such issues are raised in a court action at the request of one or both parents, or a state agency seeking to place a child in protective custody.
Divorcing parents often agree upon parenting plans that determine matters of custody and visitation. It is in the best interest of all parties involved for parenting plan agreements to be in writing on appropriate child custody forms that have been signed by both parents. This is not mandatory, but agreements that are not in proper legal form can be very difficult to enforce.
Many divorcing parents draft and sign joint custody forms, and then enter them into the court records so they are easily accessible in the event that the courts need to get involved in enforcement at a later date. Parents seeking advice about free legal forms child custody can benefit from taking advantage of the online forms and reference resources.