Divorce can be a trying time for your family. Children, especially, are susceptible to torn loyalties and stress. Parents must learn to cooperate with each other in order to do what is best for their children. Parents will have to go to the same events and be in the same room with each other after divorce for their child’s activities. Nothing is more embarrassing or heartbreaking to your child than having parents who cannot be cordial in a public setting, especially when in the presence of their friends, teachers, etc.
Cooperation is needed when making a parenting plan. Parents must work together to make a schedule that allows both parents to spend time with the children and for both parents to make decisions regarding the children. Even if daily or regular face to face contact is not possible, children should be able to have daily telephone or other contact with both parents. When one parent seeks to prevent this from occurring, it can be traumatic for your children. No matter what – the other parent will always be “mom” or “dad” regardless of what they have “done” to you personally.
Courts emphasize the importance of the involvement of both parents in the child’s life. New Jersey courts look at several factors when determining parenting time arrangements, but encourage high involvement of both parents when it is possible. Among the factors that the court may consider include:
· Parents’ and child’s preferences (if the child is over suitable age to make this determination)
· Parents’ willingness and ability to cooperate with one another and follow the parenting plan
· Domestic violence history
· Stability for the child
· Relationship between child, parents and siblings
Needless to say, parents going through divorce have a lot at stake. An experienced family law attorney is an important part of the divorce process that can help parents make sure that the best interests of their children are protected. Posted by Elizabeth A. Calandrillo, Esq.