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If you and your former spouse cannot agree on who gets custody over your shared child in the wake of your separation, this may be considered a contested issue that must be turned over to the New Jersey family court. From here, the court may configure a parenting plan to include in your final decree of divorce. Continue reading to learn what may be involved in your parenting plan and how an experienced Bergen County child custody attorney at McNerney & McAuliffe can fight on your behalf for an agenda that is in your and your child’s best interest.

What is involved in a parenting plan from a child custody case?

Simply put, a parenting plan outlines the child custody arrangement that both you and your child’s other parent must abide by post-divorce.

With this, it may involve a comprehensive schedule of when your child is supposed to be under the direct care of each parent. For example, the custodial parent may be scheduled to have the child live with them during the weekdays while the noncustodial parent may take the child on the weekends. This may go as far as stating where and when the child should be dropped off to the other parent.

Also, it may involve detailed instructions on how each parent is supposed to participate in the decisions and financial support surrounding your child’s education, healthcare, religion, etc. For example, the custodial parent may have the authority to choose the school that the child should attend; likely one that is close to their primary residence. In turn, though, the noncustodial parent may still be allowed to provide input on what religious denomination their school should be associated with.

What can I do to avoid parenting plan issues?

It is worth mentioning that you and your former spouse may attempt to negotiate a parenting plan by yourselves. You may also seek the aid of a private mediator, counselor, or attorney before submitting the plan to the New Jersey family court for approval. So to avoid any issues that may arise down the line, it may be in the best interest of you and your former spouse to make the following considerations when drafting your plan:

  • Add a clear timetable that your child should follow daily (i.e., the times to eat meals, do chores, do homework, take a bath, get ready for bed, etc).
  • Craft a time-sharing schedule that is flexible and realistic (i.e., account for your child’s extracurricular activities, your anticipated business trips, etc).
  • Include a detailed list of foods that your child should have in their daily diet (i.e., as per the request of their pediatrician due to health needs, allergies, etc).

Without a doubt, the next step you must take is to employ a skilled Bergen County family law attorney. So please reach out to us at McNerney & McAuliffe immediately.

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