Mediated Parenting Agreement vs Separation Agreement


STBX & I were court ordered to mediation.
We were able to figure out and sign a Parenting Agreement, and a judge signed it, so it is a court order.

We are working on a Separation Agreement (SA) to cover the other necessary items.

  1. Do we include the Parenting Plan in the SA or does it stand on its own ?
  2. Can we add things we left out of the Parenting Plan into the SA ?
  3. If not, how can we change the Parenting Plan - minor things ?
    I heard we have to do a Consent Order ? and someone said it was expensive ?
    Can you tell me ?



The Parenting Plan is a court order on its own, you need not include the same provisions in your agreement. If you wish to change your parenting plan you can file a motion to modify custody based on a change in circumstances and return to mediation to have your changes included in a new parenting plan.

  1. The court ordered mediation was free.
    If we went back to mediation to modify the parenting plan would there be a cost for the mediation (even if we have nothing to mediate, as in we have agreed about all the changes) ?

  2. What is the cost to file ?

  3. Can’t my STBX & I make the changes ourselves, get it notarized (sign it) and file it for a judge to sign,
    instead of going through mediation?

  4. OR can we make our changes in the Separation Agreement and that override the parenting plan ?


There is no cost to file, and the mediation will not cost you either.
You can create a Consent Order (it will look exactly like the PA with your changes) and have the judge sign it, the same as he/she would a parenting agreement. The difference here is that you can either draw it up yourselves (CO)or have the custody mediation office do it (PA)
You still have to file the motion to modify either way.