When you make the decision to move forward with your divorce, you understand this choice will bring significant changes for your children. You want to make sure to minimize the negative impact they experienced and provide as much continuity of lifestyle that is reasonably possible, so you and the other parent have decided to craft your own parenting plan. This is a beneficial solution that could work well for your New Jersey family.
You have the right to create custody and visitation solutions outside of the courtroom. An impersonal family law judge does not have to be the final say in what your kids’ post-divorce life looks like. No one knows your kids like you do, and you can make a plan that allows them to have strong relationships with both parents and have long-term security after your divorce is final.
Things to consider
Each family is different, and there is no one-size-fits all solution to child custody and visitation. This means your parenting plan is likely to be unique to the needs of your kids and to what you and other parent can do. Some of the factors to think about and include in your plan may include the following:
- Schedule — This is one of the most important factors of any parenting plan. It should be very clear how parents will share time, when they will exchange the kids and how the children will split time between homes.
- Finances — Kids have a lot of financial needs, and there will be costs and expenses that arise outside of child support. It can be helpful when parents already have a system in place regarding how they will handle them.
- Unexpected situations — It’s impossible to plan for every potential contingency in a parenting plan. This is why a plan should outline a procedure parents will follow when unexpected things happen and they need to make decisions.
Of course, your parenting plan can contain terms that are specific and unique to your family. It may help to remember that every parenting plan is subject to court approval before the finalization.
Your parenting plan will affect your life for years to come. This is why it can be beneficial to work with an experienced attorney as you craft something that is mutually beneficial, practical and sustainable. Before you agree to any terms, you may want to start with a complete evaluation of your case so you can better understand your rights and the legal options available to you.