Creating a parenting schedule may not be an easy part of your New Jersey divorce, but by avoiding some common mistakes, you might be able to ensure less difficulty later. Above all, you need to focus on the best interests of your children while making the schedule. This is not the time to try to get revenge on the other parent or to think about getting more or less parenting time as a win or a loss.
The right mindset
If you have been the child’s main caregiver, you may be concerned that your ex cannot give the child same attention that you did. However, that parent can learn the necessary skills. You should try to avoid anything in the parenting plan that is contingent on another future event. For example, the plan should not be made with the assumption that one parent will move closer at some point in the future because there are too many variables that could make that impossible.
Tips for schedule creation
When creating the schedule, you should try to empathize with your children and create as little disruption in their lives as possible. This includes taking their schedules into account and trying to keep the same child care providers so there is a minimal amount of upheaval on top of the divorce. You should keep irregular activities in mind as well and work around them. For example, the child might be involved in a sport for just a few months out of the year. While the schedule should be convenient for children, it may not be for you, and you may need to be prepared to compromise. Older children in particular may also want to share their thoughts about the schedule.
Divorce can be hard on both parents and children, but even if it is not an amicable one, you may be able to negotiate an agreement for child custody without going to court. This can be less stressful and costly although if you are concerned about the child’s safety with the other parent, litigation may be necessary.