If you are going through a divorce, it can be hard to think about the best ways to move forward. This is especially true for parents of children, as the divorce process is a lot for children to process. One of the most important things that divorcing parents can do during this process is to create a parenting plan. With a parenting plan, parents can outline everything they need to know in order to successfully raise their children after a divorce.
Simon, O'Brien, & Knapp is here to explain what you need to know about parenting plans in New Jersey. Keep reading to learn more!
Formally Defining Parenting Plans
A parenting plan is an agreement between two parties (usually divorced or separating spouses) who are responsible for raising a child. The goal of the plan is to outline both parties’ responsibilities and expectations in managing the day-to-day care of the children involved. This agreement can include details such as which parent will have custody, visitation rights, decision-making authority, communication preferences, financial obligations, and more.
It is important for divorcing parents to work together when creating these plans, as they will be more likely to remain invested and satisfied with the agreement.
The Benefits of Collaborating on a Parenting Plan
It is important for divorcing parents to remember that even though their relationship has changed, they still must work together in order to effectively raise their children. By collaborating on a parenting plan, both parties are able to voice their opinions and come up with an arrangement that works best for everyone involved - including the kids!
In fact, the state of New Jersey requires divorcing couples to utilize mediation on disagreements prior to having anything settled by a judge.
Working together also sets an example for your children that you are able to work through difficult times as a team. Additionally, having an agreed upon plan written out helps eliminate potential future disagreements or misunderstandings – something that is especially important when it comes to raising happy and healthy children.
What Goes into the Parenting Plan
A parenting plan should include a number of components in order to ensure that both parties are aware of their rights, responsibilities, and expectations when it comes to raising children. The plan should include details such as:
- Custody Arrangement: This includes the physical custody arrangement that is established for each parent and outlines where the child will reside most of the time.
- Visitation Rights: This outlines when each parent has rights to visit, have phone calls, or send mail with their child.
- Decision-Making Authority: This section explains which parent will make decisions regarding the child’s life such as education, religion, and medical care.
- Communication Preferences: This section outlines how parents should communicate with each other when it comes to making decisions about their children.
- Financial Obligations: This addresses the financial responsibility of each parent in regards to providing support for their child.
Depending on the couple’s unique circumstances, there may be other information included in the parenting plan. For example, details on pick up and drop off times as well as contingency plans for when emergencies occur.
Work With Experienced Attorneys When Creating Parenting Plans
Parenting plans are an essential component of custody discussions for divorcing couples. When working on your own plan, it’s important for both parties involved to cooperate in order to ensure everyone’s needs are met. Working together not only sets a good example for your children but also eliminates potential future disagreements by making sure all expectations have been outlined from the start. Remember - putting forth effort now will make life easier down the line.
If you encounter issues with a parenting plan, it is important to seek out assistance. The team at Simon, O'Brien, & Knapp is here to help you when you need it. Reach us at (973) 604-2224.