Including Unique Provisions in Parenting Agreements

The beauty of a parenting agreement is that the parents can fashion the agreement to fit the specific needs of their family and individual circumstances. As long as the family court finds the provisions are in the best interest of the children then it should be approved. There are many different issues and areas of importance that are unique to each family (and parent). From discipline style and religious upbringing to participation in high-risk activities and diet choices, parents have a wide range of concerns when it comes to raising children. This is where unique parenting agreement provisions can set forth the required needs and make everyone feel comfortable and provide guidance about a topic.

Examples of Unique Provisions in Parenting Agreements

Discipline Provisions

As an example of parents who want to remain a strong unified team as far as discipline goes with their children, I have seen the following provision used:

Each parent shall be responsible for discipline during their parenting time, however, if any significant discipline problem arises that requires further or ongoing attention, the parent who was first made aware of the problem shall contact the other parent and discuss the matter in order to agree on the necessary course of action.

There are times when the parents agree to put into a parenting agreement that neither party will use corporal punishment or physical discipline of any kind on the child or for those parents who do believe in spanking or other types of physical discipline they may agree that neither party will permit any third party to use corporal punishment or physical discipline on the child.

High-Risk Activities and Safety Provisions

The parents agree that the minor child shall not ride on nor operate an all-terrain vehicle until they reach the age of 13; Upon reaching the age of 13 and riding on or operating an all-terrain vehicle the child shall be closely supervised by the parent and wear a fully certified, properly fitting undamaged helmet, safety goggles as well as gloves and shall not under any circumstances operate such all-terrain vehicle on a public roadway.

Watercraft is another area where parents want to work out a solution where they are both comfortable regarding safety gear, supervision, operation, etc. It is best if one parent knows that the other parent will be taking the children out on a boat during their parenting time then it is best to talk about how this will work before the parenting agreement is entered so that everyone is clear about what is expected.

The parents agree that any time the child is aboard a non-motorized or motorized watercraft it shall be under the supervision of the parent and both parent and child will have a life vest on.

Health Provisions

The parents agree that they will provide a healthy balanced diet, including appropriate meals and snacks, during the time the child is in his or her care.

The parents agree that they will each carry an epi-pen with them at all times with complete understanding of when to use the devise and how it works.

The parents agree that they will always place the child in the appropriate car seat/seatbelt in any automobile the child is riding in.

Drugs and Alcohol Use Provisions

The parties agree that under no circumstances will the child be in an enclosed location or automobile while someone is smoking tobacco.

The parents agree that they will not consume alcoholic beverages, narcotics, or restricted dangerous drugs (except by prescription) within 12 hours prior to or during periods of time with the child.

The parents agree that they will not permit any third party to consume alcoholic beverages, narcotics, or restricted dangerous drugs (except by prescription) in the presence of the child.

Provisions Addressing Extracurricular Activities

Each parent shall have the right to schedule individual lessons and extracurricular activities and events for the children which occur exclusively during his or her own parenting time.

Neither parent will make plans or schedule activities which fall on the other parent’s time without first consulting with the other parent and coming to an agreement regarding the activity

The parents agree that the child should not participate in more than three separate activities during any given school year.

Provisions Regarding Other Relationships

Both parents agree that they will not live with a romantic significant other prior to marriage nor to allow a romantic interest to spend the night out of wedlock at the parent’s residence while the child is present.

Neither parent is allowed to tell the children to call another person “mom” or “dad”

The parties agree that prior to introducing a significant other to the child they must first introduce the significant other to the other parent

If there is a specific person you do not want around your child then that those concerns can be addressed with provisions like:

The child will have no contact with (specify name)

The child must not be left alone in the presence of (specify name)

Religious Education Provisions

Each parent may take the minor child to a church or place of worship of his or her choice during the time that the minor child is in his or her care.

Both parents agree that the minor child may be instructed in the following faith:

Neither parent may allow the child to partake in religious activities or institutions without prior written approval from the other parent.


List the specific religious training, how often the child will attend services, will there be other classes, Sunday school, bible studies, or other church-affiliated programs such as camps; when will these events occur and will they require vacation time; in addition will the children be free to attend the other parent’s place of worship for services or special events.

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