Parenting Time Schedules
Finding the Most Effective Balance for Your Child
Although it may be difficult to set aside the differences you may have with your spouse during and after a divorce, it is vital that you do when there are children involved. This is the time for both parents to focus on what is best for the child, especially when it comes to creating parenting time schedules.
According to the publication, Parenting Time: A Child's Right,* prepared by the New Jersey judiciary, studies have shown that the better the parents cooperate in raising their children, the greater chance the children have for making a positive adjustment to their new situation.
Would you like to find out more about creating a parenting time schedule? Your first appointment is free of charge. Contact our custody lawyers today!
Crafting a Parenting Time Schedule: Some Important Considerations
Parenting time schedules vary and largely depend on the age and the child's ability to adjust. Here are some age relevant guidelines, from Parenting Time:
- Infants: They need regularity in their daily schedule of waking, eating and sleeping. The parent who has physical custody is the one who establishes this daily schedule.
- Preschoolers: Their days must have a consistent framework that may include routine overnight or weekend parenting time, as well as occasional extra, unscheduled time with the nonresidential parent if both parents agree.
- School age: Since children are becoming more social at this stage, joining clubs, participating in sports, attending church, etc., scheduled parenting time must take these activities into consideration.
- Teenagers: At this stage children have developed abstract thinking, and their world revolves around friends and activities outside the home. Therefore, parenting time needs to be discussed with them.
Throughout the course of the parenting time schedule, there will be necessary adjustments. Also keep in mind how the family celebrates special occasions like holidays, birthdays, graduations and other such events; make sure these, too, are accounted for in the parenting time schedule.
Other Practical Matters
In crafting a parenting time schedule, you should also keep in mind other practical matters, such as parental work and travel schedules, geographic proximity, and the like, because once established, consistency in following the schedule is important to the child's stability and helps build trust between parents.
What Happens if My Former Spouse and I Can't Agree?
If you and your former spouse cannot agree on a parenting time schedule, the court will create one for you. However, prior to the court stepping in, what is most likely to happen is for the court to send you and your former spouse to attend a free parenting time mediation program at the court, without your attorneys. In mediation, a neutral third-party mediator will determine whether or not you and your ex-spouse can create a schedule.
Do You Have Questions About Parenting Time Schedules? Call Us.
Throughout our more than 60 years of combined legal practice, we have helped clients like you create parenting time schedules that have benefited their children throughout all stages of their development. If you would like our help, contact an experienced Monmouth County divorce lawyer at the Law Office of Steven P. Monaghan, LLC to schedule your free consultation.
Call our offices today at (732) 624-6343 to get started with our highly skilled team!
Parenting Time: A Child's Right, prepared by The Child Access and Parenting Time Advisory Group, under the auspices of the New Jersey Judiciary's Administrative Office of the Courts, (AOC) Family Practice Division, with Mary M. DeLeo serving as the AOC Assistant Director.