When making child custody decisions, you and your former spouse probably focus on the details about where your child will be and who will get him or her on holidays. You may not stop to think about the impact the decisions you make will have on your child.
States are now focusing heavily on the rights of the children at the heart of custody matters with parents becoming secondary. The New Jersey Courts even outline the rights children have during child custody arrangements.
One of the main requirements for parenting plans enforced by the courts is that the plan allows your children to develop meaningful relationships with both parents. The court does not want to fall into the old method of custody where children spend most of their time with just one parent, which makes it difficult for them to forge a solid relationship with the other parent.
Allow for extracurriculars
Children should not have to put their lives on hold or adjust their schedules to accommodate their parents. The parenting plan needs to consider extracurricular activities, such as sports, clubs and time with friends. It should make it easy for the child to continue with his or her activities while also being able to spend time with both parents.
It is essential that a parenting plan has the flexibility to adjust when needed for unexpected occurrences or needs. A child may simply want to be with the other parent, and he or she should have encouragement to do that. Sometimes, things happen that can postpone a scheduled visit, so the plan needs to be flexible enough to allow for rescheduling.