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Activities to enjoy with your child on visitation days

If you're a single parent who has recently received the right to visit with your child, there's a chance that you have never served as the primary caretaker of your son or daughter -- or maybe you've never actually spent a full day alone with him or her without your spouse present. If that's the case, your newly received child visitation rights may come with a few question marks regarding the following question: How can I make the most of my limited time with my kids?

Strategies for enjoying your time with your kids

Are you trying to negotiate your child support amount?

It's human nature to save and acquire financial resources. When a New Jersey resident is a parent and responsible for the welfare of a child, this instinct to save money grows even stronger. For this reason, child support amounts could become a subject of heated debate during contentious divorce proceedings as both parents try to save and/or receive as much money as they.

Fortunately, with a better understanding of family law and what courts look at to determine child support amounts, parents will be more capable of negotiating this issue to arrive at a fair and balanced out-of-court resolution. Here's the kind of information family law courts use to calculate child support levels:

On what can I spend my child support money?

Many people wrongly believe that parents should only use child support money to pay for a child's bare essentials like food, clothes and medical care. However, child support also covers other expenses, such as schooling, extra-curricular activities, entertainment and other expenses.

Here is a complete list of everything that parents can lawfully purchase or pay for with their child support money:

3 reasons why spouses end their marriages

Imagine that you and your spouse share several children together and own your white-picket-fence home. Your children are doing great in private schools and you and your spouse have a fat 401(k) account to make your transition into early retirement as easy as possible.

Your marriage and family look perfect on paper — and your friends might think you've got it made — but there's a dark underbelly to the relationship of which only you are keenly aware. Unfortunately, you're beginning to realize that for your health, emotional sanity and the best interests of your children, it's time to dissolve your marriage through divorce.

Child custody and unmarried parents

When two people aren't married, but they have a child together, the mother will usually receive sole physical custody automatically. In fact, it's rare that a father could win a child custody case over a mother in these circumstances. The child will most likely live with the mother full time unless the mother agrees to other circumstances.

However, the father can usually take action to receive -- at the very least -- visitation rights, even if the mother doesn't agree. Courts in New Jersey primarily believe that the children are best-served when they can spend a generous and regular amount of time with the non-custodial parent.

Is the other parent capable of meeting your child's needs?

When debating what type of child custody is best for you and your soon-to-be ex, it's important to consider the ability of both parents to tend to the needs of your child. Some people simply aren't cut out to be parents. For example, their level of maturity, their mental and physical health status, or their histories of violent or criminal actions in the past may get in the way of their ability to serve as caretaker.

Here are a few scenarios in which you might want to consider taking action to ensure the custody orders revoke the other parent's parental rights.

What if my ex-spouse was abusive? Can I prevent visitation?

Even in cases where the other parent of your child committed and/or was convicted of domestic violence, a New Jersey court could still award him or her the right to visit with your children. If you're facing a situation like this, you're probably wondering how to protect your children from the threat of further abuse when you're not around.

Fortunately, you may still be able to protect your children in spite of the court allowing them to spend time with your ex. The key to protecting your children against an abusive parent is to request supervised visitations.

Did you include these items in your parenting plan?

When it comes to organizing a parenting plan, two parents sharing child custody have a lot to keep in mind. For example, you need to know what will work for you and the other parent's schedules, and you also have to honor the unique needs and ages of the children involved.

Additionally, because your parenting plan will be difficult to change later on down the road, it needs to cover all the bases clearly, while offering some level of flexibility.

Can I end my marriage without getting a divorce?

Marriage is a legally-binding arrangement, and in nearly all cases, a divorce is required to bring the marriage to a close. However, divorce can be costly, difficult to navigate and stressful. This might make you wonder: Is there a way to end a marriage without going through a divorce?

There is one way that you might be able to end your marriage, but it will only work in a select few cases: annulment.

What does the mediation process look like?

Nearly every family law attorney will tell you that if you and your spouse can mediate your divorce, or find some other way to reach an out-of-court settlement, you'll save time, money and a lot of headaches. When you consider these benefits, it's easy to see why couples find the motivation necessary to overcome their differences during mediation.

That said, not all mediations are a success. One thing that can help you overcome obstacles during your meditation is to familiarize yourself with the process before it begins.

Contact Our Firm

To schedule a consultation, call LaRocca Hornik Rosen Greenberg & Patti LLC, at 732-246-2112 or contact us online. We serve clients in Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, and central New Jersey from offices in Freehold and Red Bank.

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