New Jersey parents going through a divorce might have a lot of questions about what their children’s future looks like. There are things that can be done during a divorce or shortly after that to minimize uncertainty and fights between the parents. A parenting plan can be a useful tool even for parents who aren’t divorced. This plan can be referred to as questions come up in the parenting process.
Is a parenting plan an automatic part of a divorce?
Most divorces with children involved won’t address questions beyond who gets custody and visitation rights. Parenting plans are considered a step beyond what’s normally done for divorces.
Parenting plans can be a wonderful time-saver to avoid future conflicts. This plan can be discussed between the parents and a mediator or even during the actual divorce proceedings upon request.
Why are parenting plans a good idea?
Most conflicts between divorced parents happen because of miscommunications when it comes to raising the child. Miscommunications are common when a child is going back and forth between two households.
What makes a good parenting plan?
A parenting plan that is based around the best interests of the child and is as detailed as possible will be more successful than a vague one. In general, a successful plan may address:
- When each parent is considered to be “on-duty”
- Religion the child will be raised in if any
- What exceptions to the normal parenting schedule will be taken into consideration
- Which parent is responsible for after-school or health care duties
- How much screen time the child will have at each household
- What is age-appropriate material for the child
Parenting plans will need to be detailed enough to answer questions about how the child will be raised while also leaving room for change. This agreement should be revisited as the child grows and as the circumstances of the parents change.
Setting up a parenting plan takes time as well as some trial and error. A lawyer can work with you to establish a plan that works for everyone.