Getting divorced with children in New Jersey means you need to make a plan with your spouse for how you will raise them together. Regardless of where the children primarily live, the plan should include time with both parents. Creating a parenting plan might not be easy, but taking the time to put every situation you can think of into the plan could help you avoid going back to court to resolve mistakes later.
Holidays and vacations
Keeping your children’s routines as similar to what they were before you separated from your spouse could help them feel more secure. Your family law attorney may help you write your parenting plan to include where the children will spend holidays, even alternating them annually. Vacations, including school breaks for older children, could also be included in your parenting plan. Writing all of this down before the divorce is final may reduce the likelihood that there will be disagreements about where the children will spend their time in the future.
Depending on the age of your children when you get divorced, there may be a lot of milestones in the future. You may be able to account for these in your parenting plan to avoid having a conversation with your ex about them when the issues arise. For example, you could forecast when your teenager will be able to get a driver’s license or a part-time job, even if those events are years away. It’s a mistake to only plan for your children’s current ages without talking about how custody arrangements will be affected in the future.
Consider having a more specific parenting plan if you anticipate conflict with your spouse. The more details you include in the plan, the less you will have to argue about. On the other hand, if you and your spouse tend to agree about issues regarding your children, you might want to consider making the plan less rigid so that you’ll have flexibility when you need it. Your attorney may help you avoid mistakes and craft the best possible parenting plan for your family.