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Creating a Parenting Plan for Your Child

Children benefit by having both of their parents play an active and engaged role in their lives. The New Jersey Courts recognize this and encourage both parties in child custody proceedings to work together to create a parenting plan. The following outlines tips for making a parenting plan that will benefit both you and your child, as well as your options in terms of what to do when common problems arise.  


Tips for Creating a Parenting Plan


The New Jersey Statutes have specific rules and guidelines in terms of child custody arrangements, which were put in place to protect your child against actions on the part of either parent that could jeopardize their health or safety. However, provided both parents show themselves to be willing and able to provide, the court is likely to encourage a parenting plan that allows both to play an active and engaged role in the child’s life.


There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ parenting plan. It is possible to work out agreements that benefit your child while also respecting your rights both as a person and as a parent. Very Well Family offers some general tips to help you get started:


  • Put your personal feelings aside. Realize that just because of your relationship with the other person did not work out, he or she can still be a good parent to your child.
  • Do not take an adversarial stance. While you may still have gripes concerning legal issues with the other parent, do not use child custody arrangements as a way to get even.
  • Consider your child’s needs. When dividing time between two homes, consider activities your child is involved in, relationships with neighborhood friends, and other areas of your child’s life you may need to accommodate.
  • Consider logistics. Depending on where you and the other parent live and where your child goes to school, the logistics of getting from one place to another and the time involved is likely to be a factor in any plans you make.
  • Put everything in writing. While you may want to be flexible, do not assume you can make plans for certain events, such as vacation times or holiday gatherings, further down the road. Better to have everything included as part of your parenting plan and to schedule family functions or other activities accordingly.  


Common Issues With Parenting Plans


Unfortunately, just because you have a parenting plan approved through the court, it does not mean the other parent will always follow it. The New Jersey Courts advise that there are two common issues that often arise in these situations:



  • Parenting Time Interference: This occurs when one parent refuses to comply with the parenting plan or fails to consult with you about changes in the schedule. It helps to be flexible when it comes to last minute changes, delays in pick up or drop off times. However, a pattern of disregard for your schedule or the plan itself is something you need to address through the court with the help of your attorney.
  • Non-Exercise of Parenting Time: When a parent fails to show up for regular visits or routinely cancels plans, it can have a negative impact on your child. If the other parent frequently disregards his or her role and responsibility as a parent, your best course of action may be to have the parenting plan changed.


Consult With Our Middlesex County Child Custody Attorney


Consult With Our Middlesex County Child Custody Attorney. In matters impacting your child, the Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards, Esq. acts as a strong legal ally on your side. Call or contact our Milltown child custody attorney online and request a consultation to discuss how we can assist you today.