When you and your spouse share children and make the decision to end your marriage, the state of New Jersey encourages you to create a parenting plan. A parenting plan is a document that outlines the ways in which you plan to raise your child while living in separate homes.

Per the New Jersey Courts, whenever possible, the parenting plan is something you and your former partner should work on together. If the two of you are unable to work together to create the parenting plan, you have the option of filing a motion with the court so that a family court mediator may help you do so. What sorts of matters do you want to address in your parenting plan?

General child-rearing and decision-making terms

When it comes to what to put into your parenting plan, anything relating to raising your shared child is fair game. You should include general information about how you plan to share parenting time, including how you plan to split time on holidays, summer breaks and so on.

You should also cover what types of decisions both parents have to communicate about and what decisions each parent might be able to make without consulting the other.

Financial responsibilities

It may help you and your former spouse avoid conflict to outline who is responsible for what when it comes to paying for your child’s expenses. If he or she attends private school or college, include information about who is responsible for paying for it. If he or she is in sports, band or other extracurriculars, dictate who pays for these activities or whether the two of you share the expense.

The more thorough the parenting plan, the better your chances of avoiding conflicts down the line. Find more about managing divorce and successfully co-parenting on our webpage.