If you are a parent who is getting divorced in New Jersey, you may need to make a parenting plan. This document will outline how you and your ex-spouse will share custody of your children. It can be difficult to come up with a parenting plan that works for both parties, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, especially if you put your child’s best interests first.
Have a communication plan
This will help you and your child’s other parent stay in touch with one another, so that any child custody issues can get addressed as soon as possible. A parenting coordinator or mediator may also be helpful in setting up the lines of communication for you two.
The best way to communicate is through email, text messages, or a phone call. Try to avoid communicating through social media, as this can be public and embarrassing for your child.
Set some ground rules
Both you and your ex-spouse should agree on some basic ground rules that will apply when the child is in each of your custody. These might include things, like bedtimes, meal times, and rules about the child’s gadgets, like cell phones or tablets.
Make sure you are both on the same page regarding these ground rules so that your child doesn’t get mixed messages. For example, if one parent says lights out at eight o’clock and another says nine o’clock, it can be confusing for a child.
Put your child’s needs first
When creating a parenting plan, it is important to always put your child’s needs first. This means that you should not use the child as a pawn in order to get back at your ex-spouse. As you consider your child’s well-being, you may also want to consider their age and any special needs they might have. For instance, a child with autism might need a different parenting plan than a child who is not autistic.
There are many other things you can do to make a successful parenting plan, but these are a few key things to get you started. Above everything else, take steps to ensure that your child feels loved and supported by both parents no matter what goes on between you two.