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Constructing a parenting plan that’s a win for everyone!

Constructing a parenting plan that’s a win for everyone!

If you and your child’s other parent are dissolving your romantic involvement but want to remain actively involved parents, both of you will need to create a parenting plan as part of a comprehensive child custody arrangement. A successful agreement will allow you both parties on how your co-parenting relationship will work legally. Most of the time, New Jersey courts need that a parenting plan be approved before a divorce or non-marital child custody case can be authorized and closed. If your child’s needs or your family’s circumstances change, you can then modify the terms of your parenting plan by mutual agreement and submit the changes to the court for approval. Architecting your parenting plan in a very mindful way from the beginning should keep modifications to a minimum. 

Prioritizing your child’s best interests while obtaining what’s practical 

It’s critical that your parenting plan considers your child’s best interests at heart. Yet, it’s also important that the ways in which these interests are addressed are truly practical for all parties involved. An  example, it is likely in your child’s best interests to speak with both of their parents every day. Yet, a phone call may not always be workable with everyone’s schedules. Consider crafting a term that allows for a call or, on days when both co-parents agree in advance, a 

a video message could be sent by both you/your co-parent and your child instead. 

Focused for a consistent yet flexible arrangement 

When it’s feasible, to keep certain expectations firm enough that your child benefits from a secure arrangement. Yet, also allow for the options or flexibility when an allowance seems appropriate. Life is chaotic.  There should be moments where there can be exceptions to the rules. Accounting for some flexibility into your plan from the start, the less likely it will be that unneeded friction will occur between you and your co-parent and you and your child. If you and your child’s other parent keep your child’s best interests and the idea of “stable yet flexible” terms in mind when crafting your parenting plan, it is far more likely to be both effective and manageable than it would be otherwise. 

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