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 ¶
You still have to file the motion to modify either way.