When parents go through a divorce, there are many arrangements they need to work out regarding their children. This can include matters of child custody and parenting time. To determine how both parents may wish to go on seeing their children, they may want to create a parenting time agreement. This lays out how parents plan to split their time with the children. While these arrangements can sometimes include how holidays are handled, sometimes parents do not include it. If your parenting time agreement does not cover the holidays, continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced New Jersey family law attorney for assistance.
What are Types of Custody Agreements?
In New Jersey, there are two types of child custody. This includes physical and legal custody. Physical custody is in reference to the parent who the child spends the majority of their time and lives with. On the other hand, legal custody is in reference to a parent’s right to make decisions regarding their child’s upbringing. This can include education, religion, medical, and more.
When courts determine custody, they usually want both parents to be involved in their child’s life. This tends to lead towards shared custody of a child. However, this is only if it is in the child’s best interests. To determine what is in the best interest of a child, the court may consider the following:
- The relationship both parents have with their child
- If a parent was involved in criminal activity, have a substance abuse problem, or have exposed the child to domestic abuse
- The child’s needs, including both physical and emotional
- The child’s educational needs
- If the child is of sufficient age to state their preference
- The geographical proximity of both parent’s homes
- Whether a parent can support the child’s standard of living
- Whether the parent can provide the child with a stable and safe home
What do I do if a Holiday is Not in my Custody Agreement?
If a parent wants to spend a holiday with their child but it is not in their custody agreement, it is possible to simply speak with the other spouse regarding the matter to see if they will swap time for the holiday. However, if that does not suffice, it is possible for the agreement to be modified. This can be granted with a post-judgment modification by the court in which changes can be made to the document to allow a child to see their parent on a designated holiday. When petitioning for a post-judgment modification of a custody agreement, it is important for a parent to know that they are required to prove there has been a significant change in circumstances that warrants the modification. An experienced family law attorney can provide assistance with these matters.
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.