Parenting Time Plans in New Jersey

Any physical custody order or agreement that grants both parents some amount of parenting time must include a schedule. This schedule must specify who will have physical custody of a child on which dates and at what times, and it cannot be modified except through a subsequent court order or agreement.

Advocating for a preferable parenting time plan in New Jersey can be challenging without support from a seasoned child custody attorney. Whether you are submitting your own ideal plan to a judge or working with your child’s co-parent to form a mutually agreeable schedule, professional legal representation can be key to ensuring there is no infringement on your rights or your child’s best interests.

Possible Physical Custody Arrangements in Parenting Time Plans

There are two types of physical custody that can be incorporated into a parenting time schedule, differentiated by the number of “annual overnights” the child spends with each parent. If each parent has physical custody of the child for 104 overnight stays or more during a calendar, they have a shared parenting time arrangement over the child. If one parent has 103 or fewer annual overnights with the child in their custody, they are considered the noncustodial parent in a sole parenting time arrangement.

Within these categories, parents can arrange a variety of day-by-day or week-by-week schedules through which they split custody of their child. Common approaches to parenting time plans are to have each parent alternate full weeks of custody, or to grant one parent custody for four days and the other parent custody for three days each week.

In sole parenting time arrangements, the noncustodial parent may have visitation with their child on alternating weekends, specific weekends, or holidays. Assistance from a qualified New Jersey attorney can be instrumental when it comes to formulating and seeking court approval of a parenting time plan.

What Should a Parenting Time Schedule Include?

In addition to establishing the regular schedule that parents must follow for child custody, a New Jersey parenting time plan should also specify what should happen during exceptional circumstances. As such, the plan should determine whether school breaks, holidays, and other special occasions will serve as deviations from the usual schedule, or whether one parent will always have custody on these occasions.

A parenting plan should also address if and when each parent may take a child on vacation during their custody periods, as well as whether some flexibility in exact times and dates for custody switches is acceptable. Guidance from a legal professional can be extremely helpful in crafting a parenting time plan that is comprehensive and legally enforceable in New Jersey.

Reach Out to an Attorney for Help with Parenting Time Plans in New Jersey

There is no single formula for determining the right parenting time plan for a particular family. Seeking help from seasoned legal counsel can be the difference between a plan that meets everybody’s needs and a court-ordered arrangement that leaves neither parent with any influence over their custody rights.

If you are looking to come to a parenting time arrangement in New Jersey, a compassionate lawyer from our team can help. Call today to learn more.

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