Unless you are a very young child or an unflappable optimist, the holidays are most likely as much a source of stress as of cheer. All the problems in your life seem to be amplified, and the pressure is even greater to plaster on a smile and pretend that everything is fine. One of the hardest holiday situations to deal with is co-parenting with your ex-spouse. If you think it is hard to agree with your spouse about holiday travel plans and gift-giving when you and your spouse are living together and generally get along well, it is even worse when you are sworn enemies and the concept of family unity no longer applies. The law seeks to provide a stable environment for children, no matter how bitter their parents’ relationship. The parenting plan is one way that the family court seeks to ensure that the parents always put the children’s needs first. If you need a parenting plan, or if you have one but your ex is not complying with it, contact a New Jersey child custody lawyer.
How Parenting Plans Work
In a parenting plan, you and your ex write out all the details of how you will cooperate to raise your children, except for those details related to money.(The child support agreement is entirely separate from the parenting plan; it is possible to modify one of them without modifying the other.)Parenting time is the main focus of the parenting plan.For example, you can specify that one spouse gets the children on weekdays while the other gets them on weekends.Some parents with very young children choose to alternate entire weeks or have the children spend Monday through Wednesday with one parent and Thursday through Sunday with the other, but this is not practical for school-aged children.The parents also specify who should transport the children from one parent’s house to the other.The form even has spaces to specify where the children will spend each major holiday and each school break.You can allocate each holiday to either parent or to grandparents or other relatives.You can even specify that the children are to spend Christmas with Mom in odd-numbered years and with Dad in even-numbered years.
The parenting plan also contains provisions about non-financial decisions related to the children.For example, the parents can specify which parent has the final decision about which school the children attend and which extracurricular activities they participate in, as well as which parent chooses the doctors who provide non-emergency medical care for the children.The purpose of parenting plans is for divorced parents to agree on potentially conflict-prone matters before they happen, thus avoiding disruption to the children’s sense of normalcy.
Contact Kelly, Kelly, Marotta & Tuchman About Child Custody Cases
A child custody lawyer can help you stay involved in your children’s lives, even if your ex keeps putting up obstacles to your involvement.Contact Kelly, Kelly, Marotta & Tuchman in Maywood, New Jersey to discuss your case.