After a divorce, sharing custody of the children can be complicated, especially if both parents are working. Shuttling children to and from activities and between homes while holding down a job requires real time management skill and a solid parenting time schedule. If you are in the process of working out a parenting time agreement, it is important to be informed as you do so.
The parenting plan is part of the custody arrangement and is a legally enforceable document. It should ensure that both spouses have their allotted time with the children. A parent who knowingly takes time away from the other by not following the time schedule is endangering his or her future rights to custody.
Important Elements of an Effective Parenting Plan
Of course, at the heart of the parenting time schedule are the needs of the children. The schedule should outline in writing what kind of third party child care arrangements are acceptable, and any plans for after school. If you or your ex has an emergency, there must also be contingency plans for what happens with the children.
Most parenting time schedules also include a provision for the right of first refusal. This means that if for some reason you cannot exercise your timeshare rights, you must first ask the other parent to take the children before using a childcare service.
To help both parents in planning, it is useful to utilize an online calendar sharing application. These are commonly available and an effective way to communicate schedule changes. Information is readily visible to both parties and simplifies the process of combining the schedules of multiple adults and children.
Ideally, the parenting time schedule should be custom tailored to you and your family so that it is feasible given the demands of your work schedule. You may want to enlist the help of a skilled child custody lawyer whose experience can help you make a solid plan that accommodates your needs. Travel time, both parties’ work schedules, school schedules, and the children’s wishes should all be taken into account. Remember that failing to adhere to the arrangement means there could be a court order against you. Under severe circumstances, you can lose your parenting time and jeopardize your custody rights.
It makes sense to craft a parenting time schedule that will be successful rather than having to spend time and energy later amending one that did not work out as expected. Hiring a lawyer with extensive knowledge of child custody laws in New Jersey to assist in creating a solid parenting time schedule can save you from future heartache and disappointment.
Woodbridge Child Custody Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Draft Enforceable Parenting Time Agreements
If you are going through a divorce in New Jersey and have questions about child custody and parenting plans, the experienced Woodbridge child custody lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. are ready to help you. Call 908-575-9777 for a free consultation or contact us online. Our offices are conveniently located in Somerville serving clients in Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, Morris Plains, and throughout New Jersey.