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parenting plan

What Is a Parenting Plan in a Custody Case in New Jersey?

If you’re undergoing a divorce with children, one of the most critical things you’ll have to figure out is how to work with your former spouse to create a parenting agreement that best suits your family. Regardless of how you feel about your former spouse, you must be willing to communicate and compromise to preserve your child’s best interests. Essentially, a parenting plan will detail how parents will cooperate in raising their children. Please continue reading to learn what a parenting plan should address and how a compassionate Ocean County Child Custody Attorney can help you negotiate a fair arrangement. 

What is a Parenting Plan in New Jersey?

When you decide you no longer want to be in a relationship with your child’s other parent, you must determine which parent has legal and physical custody. If you cannot reach an agreement, a judge will determine which parent will be awarded custody. While the court will usually try to preserve the parent-child relationship, as they recognize it’s in a child’s best interest to benefit from being nurtured by both parents, parents may not have the same custodial rights. However, a parenting plan will determine when and where the non-custodial parent will get to spend time with the child. When creating a parenting plan, using precise language that leaves no room for interpretation is crucial. It should address important matters such as your child’s healthcare, education, religion, transportation, supervision by other people, holidays, and special dates.

What Should It Address?

A parenting plan is an important document that will become legally binding once the court approves. Therefore, you want to ensure your plan addresses important matters. A parenting plan should address the following questions to ensure your goals are achieved:

  • Where will the child’s primary residence be?
  • How will healthcare decisions be made?
  • How will decisions about the child’s education be made?
  • How will the child be supported financially?
  • How much time will each parent spend with the child?
  • How will parents decide on their child’s religious practices?
  • How will parents communicate and make decisions about the child when conflict arises?
  • How will special arrangements for holidays, vacations, school breaks, and special dates be made?

The most effective parenting plans will include conflict resolution and reflect the child’s best interests. As you can see, many factors influence you and your child’s life. Therefore, a parenting plan can help you make importnat decisions about how to raise your child together.

If you need help establishing a parenting plan, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted Ocean County child custody attorney from the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC, who can help you draft a plan that covers all of your bases.