Monmouth County Parenting Time
Determining Time Spent With Your Children
Parenting time, which had previously been called visitation, is the time the noncustodial parent spends with the child. The state of New Jersey considers this a critical element of child custody arrangements. In most cases, it is in the best interest of children to have two parents involved in their lives. What that involvement looks like can vary dramatically from case to case, and it depends on many practical considerations.
At the Law Office of Steven P. Monaghan, LLC, our Monmouth County custody lawyers work with you to make certain your right to raise your child is protected. When you choose our law firm, you can benefit from a team with 30+ years of experience and are led by a lawyer who has been listed in Super Lawyers year after year!
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How Much Parenting Time Will You Have?
Many factors must be taken into consideration when working out parenting time schedules. Certainly, each parent's schedule plays a role. The child's age is a major issue. A parenting time schedule for an infant is likely to look substantially different than a parenting plan for a teenager. We make certain all factors are taken into account.
Plans can be as complex and creative as necessary. Holidays and vacations may need to be addressed in unique ways. Our lawyers do not believe in one-size-fits-all parenting plans or child custody arrangements. Instead, we will work with you to learn about your situation and pursue the plan that makes the most sense.
Parenting Plans and Shared Parenting
In some cases, the noncustodial parent may have a parenting plan that includes alternate weekends. Perhaps you would like closer to a 50-50 split with the other parent. Shared parenting arrangements like these are possible. We can pursue them when appropriate.
Crafting a Parenting Time Schedule: Some Important Considerations
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.
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.
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