What are some of those requirements?
As we’ve noted, a separation agreement must be freely and fully negotiated. You cannot cause a person to sign an agreement under duress or threats, such as "sign or you’ll never see your kids again." Other requirements are specifically related to children, because the children involved typically do not have much say. State laws have been put in place to protect the rights of children whose parents are going through a separation or divorce.
Those rights are as follows (but not limited to):
1. A continuing relationship with both parents.
2. Be treated not as a piece of property, but as a human being recognized to have unique feelings, ideas, and desires consistent with that of an individual.
3. Continuing care and proper guidance from each parent.
4. Not to be unduly influenced by either parent to view the other parent differently.
5. Express love, friendship, and respect for both parents: freedom from having to hide those stated emotions or made to be ashamed of such.
6. An explanation that the impending action of divorce was in no way caused by the child’s actions.
7. Not to be the subject and/or source of any and all arguments.
8. Continuing, honest feedback with respect to the divorce process and its impact on the changing relationships of the family.
9. Maintain regular contact with both parents and a clear explanation for any change in plans and/or cancellations.
10. Enjoy a pleasurable relationship with both parents, never to be employed as a manipulative bargaining tool.