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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.

If you need help working through divorce proceedings or understanding child custody, get in touch with the Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards now! Our New Jersey team is here to help you through this tough time.

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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 individuals 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. The following are a few tips to get you started:

  • Put your personal feelings aside. Realize that just because your relationship with the other person did not work out, your former spouse 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.
  • Think about 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, and small hiccups in pick up or drop off times, but 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 their 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

In matters impacting your child, the Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards acts as a strong legal ally. Contact our Milltown child custody attorney and request a consultation to discuss how we can assist you today.

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