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Co-Parenting in the context of building your family is where you intend to parent a child with someone you are not in a relationship with. We have advised on many different co-parenting arrangements - where there is the intention of there being 2 parents or where the intention is for there to be 3 or 4.  Given that the law will only recognise a maximum of 2 legal parents, and who acquires legal parenthood and parental responsibility is complex and dependent on the circumstances, it is important that all parties to the arrangement fully understand their legal position, what their legal responsibilities will be for the child and how to acquire some formal legal status for the child if not acquired automatically.

Co-Parenting Agreement

If you are considering entering into a co-parenting arrangement, then you may wish to consider having a co-parenting agreement prepared.  The preparation of this document will ensure that all parties are fully aware of their legal position and responsibilities in respect of the child to include who will be recognised in law as the legal parent, any applications other parents will need to make to acquire some status and to agree intentions for the future.

Each agreement is bespoke but will cover issues such as:

  • The intended role each parent will play in the child’s life and what they will be known as to the child.
  • The living arrangements for the child.
  • The time the child will spend with each parent.
  • The involvement of wider family members.
  • Financial expectations and responsibility.
  • Expectations around education and religion.

We find the benefit of having such an agreement prepared at the outset and prior to conception is that it helps all involved in the arrangement to discuss the arrangement in detail in advance, identify any mismatch of expectation at the outset and helps ease the path for the future.