Even when both parents who are going through a divorce or are no longer living together are going to be able to agree on custody and even the basics of who is going to have what time with the child, there still can be a lot of work to do before the parents will truly have an agreement they both can live with in the long term.
For instance, the courts of New Jersey typically require that the parents submit a parenting plan to the court that will cover in detail how the couple intends to divide their time with their children. The parenting plan also should cover other important items, like what information parents are supposed to share with each other and how they are going to make important decisions about the child’s well-being.
A good parenting plan can be difficult to negotiate. For one, the couple’s children may have different emotional and physical needs that can change over time. These needs have to be accounted for in a parenting plan. Moreover, even parents who are both loving and want what is best for their children may have very different ideas of what a parenting plan should look like.
While a couple can for a variety of reasons choose to present their respective positions to a judge who will create a parenting plan for them, many find it better for their children, and less stressful and time-consuming, to use mediation or negotiation to come to an agreement about a parenting plan. In both types of scenarios, having the assistance of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney can prove invaluable.