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.
The following list of topics is vital to address in your parenting plan
In order to get you started off on the right track, here are some topics you'll want to discuss with the other parent and pin down in the preliminary draft of your parenting plan:
- Create a residential schedule that details what days of the week the child will be staying with which parent.
- Create a visitation schedule if one of the parents will be the primary caretaker and the other parent will have visitation rights.
- Set up a holiday plan that details which holidays the child will be spending with which parent. It might be a rotating schedule where one parent gets the child on Christmas.
- Set up a birthday schedule that details how birthdays will be spent.
- Set up transportation arrangements for visitation days and create a back-up plan if one of the parents is late or a no-show.
- Establish the use of car seats in vehicles.
- Decide on a neutral drop-off and pick-up location if necessary.
- Try to predict how the visitation or residential schedule will change as the child grows older and decide on those guidelines in advance.
- Create a plan for visitation and residential arrangements during school vacations.
- Create guidelines for proposing, negotiating and changing parenting time, visitations and the residential schedule to prevent last-minute changes.
- Create back-up arrangements for child care.
Do you need to organize your parenting plan?
The more you know about New Jersey child custody law and the potential problems and disagreements that can develop for parents and their children, the better parenting plan you'll be able to create. Remember, a good parenting plan is all about avoiding conflict and having clarity to avoid future problems later on down the road.