Parenting time schedules vary and depend on the age and the child's ability to adjust. Not every parenting schedule is the same and they work differently for each party and for each child. There are many practical considerations that bear upon formulating a parenting time schedule between parents. The work schedules of the parties, and the school and extracurricular schedules of the children obviously bear upon the parenting schedule. The geographic proximity of the parties is critical for determining the schedule as well. Also important is the ability of the parties to communicate, cooperate and be flexible with regard to the implementation of the schedule. Parties should keep in mind, that it is more beneficial for the children and for themselves if they can formulate a parenting time schedule themselves.
If the parties cannot agree on a parenting time schedule, the Court will again look to the factors under N.J.S.A. 9:2-4 to determine what type of schedule is in the best interest of the child. However, it should be noted that prior to the Court making any determination on parenting time, it will usually first send the parties to the free parenting time mediation program at the Court. The parties will both appear, without their lawyers, before a qualified, neutral, third-party mediator to ascertain whether or not they can formulate a schedule.