In New Jersey, the underlying principle guiding court decisions when it comes to parents and their children is that both parents have the right to love and bond with their children. The courts almost always award parents “joint legal custody. This means that both parents share responsibility for the decisions that affect their children, particularly decisions around health, education, religion and their general welfare. Joint legal custody refers to decision-making and is awarded to the parent who has residential custody, sometimes called the parent of primary residence, and also awarded to the parent of alternate residence. The term “custody” is important when a designation by an agency requires a designation, such as the IRS.
Parents are entitled to parenting time when they have joint legal custody. There are as many different parenting schedules as there are parents. Some parents share the children every other weekend; some share the children every other weekend with an overnight during the week; yet others share the children on a rotating schedule one week with one parent and the next week with the other parent. There are parents who live in other states who only see their children during the summer and at Christmas. The variations in acceptable parenting plans is vast. Usually, the design of the parenting plan involves consideration of may factors including: age of the children; the distance between the parents’ residences; the parents’ work schedules; the activities and health of the children.
We can help you develop a parenting plan that optimizes the time you spend with your children. Call us to schedule a consultation.