When you and your New Jersey spouse decide to part ways and you share one or more children together, you must create a parenting plan if you both plan to continue to raise your child or children. Research shows that a child’s ability to adjust to a divorce depends to some degree on his or her parents’ ability to cooperate with one another. A parenting plan may play an important role in helping you and your child’s other parent do so.
Per the New Jersey Courts, a parenting plan outlines what you and your former partner agreed to in terms of parenting time. It may also address many other important areas related to the co-parenting relationship. The more thorough your plan is, the less likely you and your ex may be to argue over parental responsibilities down the line. What are some of the things you may want to cover in your own parenting plan?
In addition to outlining your typical custody terms, consider using the parenting plan to determine who has your child on holidays, birthdays, school vacations and similar occasions. If you plan to switch back and forth each year, state as much in your parenting plan to help prevent future conflicts.
If you and your ex plan to live far apart, you may also want to stipulate how you plan to transfer your child or children from one parent’s home. You may find it helpful to do this even if you do not live far away from your ex as a means of preventing future disagreements.
You may also want to use your parenting plan to cover anything you and your ex agree to with regard to your child’s schooling, religious upbringing, medical care and so on.