When parents go through a divorce, they are required to work out custody of their children. This puts the matter of parenting time into question. Parenting time is usually linked to physical custody of a child. When a parent has physical custody of their child, it means they spend a portion of time with them. When parents share physical custody fairly equally, they must determine how much time each parent gets to spend with their child. This can either be determined in court with the assistance of a judge or between the parents on their own.
Examples of Parenting Arrangements
In the state of New Jersey, co-parents are able to determine a parenting schedule that they believe works. However, it is important to note that this determination is required to be in the best interest of the child. While there are several different types of parenting arrangements, the following are standard options that many parents use:
- One primary residential parent and one alternative residential parent: With this arrangement, the child spends the majority of their time residing with the parent who has primary physical custody. In these situations, the other parent follows a visitation schedule and spends alternate weekends with the child.
- Shared physical custody: Parents can create a schedule that allows them to have equal, or close to equal, amount of time with their child. This can include alternating weeks or shorter periods of time parenting.
- Sole physical custody: If a parent is granted sole physical custody, the other parent’s visitation may be more limited. While these situations are rare, they do occur. When they do, courts are generally in favor of visitation unless it is not in the child’s best interest.
Creating a Parenting Time Plan
When creating a parenting plan, there are many factors to consider before reaching an agreement. This can include but is not limited to:
- The child’s age and development level
- Each parents’ responsibilities before their separation
- How the child can feel comfortable and cared for at all times
- Each parent’s current work schedule and possible vacation time
- The child’s school location
- Any extracurricular activities
- The child’s needs
In addition to this, there are many terms that should be detailed within the parenting time plan. This ensures that the arrangement is followed and can be enforced when necessary. Certain terms that are important to include can include:
- A designation of physical and legal custody
- A description of the parenting arrangement
- A description of any changes that may occur in the arrangement as well as methods to modify the plan
- A statement delegating any parental responsibilities and rights
- Transportation concerns to bring the child to and from each parent
- Any concerns regarding birthdays and holidays
- Provisions regarding traveling out of the state or country
- A description of access to and sharing school and medical records
Contact our Firm
If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.