When New Jersey parents decide to divorce or split up, it will need to be determined how the parents will deal with the raising of their children. This is done with a parenting plan, which sets forth where the child will live at any given point and how the children’s other activities and needs will be taken care of.
Parenting plans not only outline when each parent has custody of their children and a visitation agreement for the other parent, but how the parents will be involved in the children’s education, religious upbringing and health care. Additionally, the plan also outlines child support and other decisions about how the children are brought up. The two parents should try to agree on a plan that will benefit everyone. However, if an agreement cannot be made, the parents can turn to a court mediator who will help set up the plan.
Children have different needs depending upon their age that must be taken into consideration. For example, if the children are infants, they have certain feeding and sleeping cycles that both parents must be able to meet. Because their ability to eat certain foods are changing, communication between the two parents is incredibly important. As the children age and enter the school system, the parenting plan should provide structure and stability while allowing them to attend after school activities. Once the children are teenagers, it is recommended that the parenting plan take their social needs into consideration.
Because all children and parents have different needs, it is recommended that a parent seek advice from an attorney who can potentially provide legal support and assist with drafting a plan that takes the children’s needs into consideration. Additionally, if a parenting plan needs to be revised to meet the needs of children who have aged, an attorney could be of assistance as well.
Source: New Jersey Judiciary, “Parenting Time: A Child’s Right”, September 16, 2014