Designating Parenting Time in New Jersey

When two parents go through a divorce, they are required to establish arrangements for the future of their children. This involves determining child custody, leading to the issue of parent time as well. Parenting time is generally linked to physical custody. This is because, depending on the physical custody arrangement, parents must figure out how much time they each get to spend with their child. Some parents are able to do this on their own while others may need the help of the court. 

Examples of Parenting Arrangements

In New Jersey, co-parents are able to create a parenting schedule for themselves that they believe works. However, this is only as long as it is in the best interest of the child. There are many ways that a parenting schedule can be made to suit a family’s situation. The following are commonly used options by parents in the state:

  • One primary residential parent and one alternative residential parent: Under this arrangement, most of the child’s time is spent with the primary physical custody parent. The other parent follows a visitation schedule is with the child on alternate weekends. 
  • Shared physical custody: This allows parents to both have time with their child that is equal or close to equal. This can include alternating weeks or shorter periods of time with the child. 
  • Sole physical custody: While it is rare for a parent to be granted sole custody, it is possible. In these situations, the parent that does not have custody may have limited visitation time. Courts are usually in favor of visitation unless it is not in the child’s best interest.

Creating a Parenting Time Plan

When creating a parenting time plan, parents should consider a number of different factors. This can include the following:

  • The child’s age and development level
  • Each parents’ responsibilities before their separation
  • How the child can feel comfortable and cared for at all times
  • Each parent’s current work schedule and possible vacation time
  • The child’s school location
  • Any extracurricular activities
  • The child’s needs

A parenting time plan should also include certain terms that ensure it can be enforced in the future if it is not followed. Important terms to include are: 

  • A designation of physical and legal custody
  • A description of the parenting arrangement
  • A description of any changes that may occur in the arrangement and methods to modify it
  • A statement delegating parental responsibilities and rights
  • Transportation concerns to bring the child to and from each parent
  • Any concerns regarding birthdays and holidays
  • Provisions regarding traveling out of the state or country
  • A description of access to and sharing school and medical records

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver & Simpson is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.