Avoid child custody conflict — add these to the parenting plan

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Whenever parents in New Jersey or elsewhere decide to divorce, establishing a parenting plan is an important part of this challenging process, even if it is an amicable breakup. Sometimes, adding things that seem insignificant in the child custody agreement now might avoid contention later. Including those topics to the parenting plan can make it easier for the child to adjust to the new dynamics.

Some examples include whether parents agree that rules such as homework, bedtime, video gaming and other similar activities will be the consistent in both homes. Also, will clothes and other things bought by one parent stay in that parent’s home, or will the child be free to take it along to the other parent’s home? An often-forgotten aspect involves child care or babysitters when one parent has other obligations during his or her parenting time. If it is agreed that the other parent will have first right of refusal, it must be stated as such in the parenting plan

Extracurricular activities can also lead to unanticipated problems. If the child is signed up for after-school activities like dancing or soccer, practicing might fall in the other parent’s scheduled parenting time. They might never have anticipated this to cause frustration, but including the way they will deal with it in the parenting plan can avoid unpleasantness for all later — especially the child.

Child custody orders include certain aspects like the way in which parenting time will be shared and matters involving medical care, religion and to which school the child will go, but parenting involves a whole lot more. One way of dealing with this is to utilize the skills of an experienced family law attorney in New Jersey. Legal counsel who deals with the intricate nuances of parenting plans every day can provide invaluable support and guidance.

FindLaw Network