When parents go through a divorce, their main concerns are often custody and parenting time. By creating a parenting time agreement, parents are able to designate the days they each get to spend with their child. Oftentimes, these agreements include certain holidays so that parents can split their time as best they can. However, there are many cases in which parents do not include this. If you want to spend an upcoming holiday with your child and it is not included in the parenting time agreement, continue reading and contact a New Jersey family law attorney for help.
What are Types of Custody Agreements?
In New Jersey, there are two types of custody agreements that are usually granted: physical custody and legal custody. Parents who have physical custody of their child are the individual with whom the child spends the most of their time with. If they have legal custody, they have the right to be involved in making important decisions, such as education, medical, religion, etc.
When the court settles a custody arrangement, they usually want both parents to be involved in the child’s life. That is why shared custody is often granted. While this is true, all decisions must be made in the best interest of the child. To understand what is in their best interest, the court will consider:
- The relationship both parents have with their child
- If a parent was involved in criminal activity, have a substance abuse problem, or have exposed the child to domestic abuse
- The child’s needs, including both physical and emotional
- The child’s educational needs
- If the child is of sufficient age to state their preference
- The geographical proximity of both parent’s homes
- Whether a parent can support the child’s standard of living
- Whether the parent can provide the child with a stable and safe home
What do I do if a Holiday is Not in my Parenting Time Agreement?
When holidays come around, it is understandable that parents want to celebrate them with their children. However, this can be difficult for families of divorce. That is why parenting time agreements may lay out which holidays each parent gets with their child. If a parenting time does not include holidays, there is a way this can be addressed. To start, simply speak with the other parent to see if they are okay with swapping parenting time for that holiday.
In the event that the parent disagrees, it is possible to petition the court for a post-judgment modification. If it is granted, changes are able to be made to the agreement so a parent can be with their child on the date they are asking for, such as a holiday. When requesting a modification, the parent must prove there is a significant change in circumstances that requires the modification.
Contact our Firm
If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Simpson & Russoniello 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.