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Shared Parenting In New Jersey Divorces

In New Jersey, there is an option available for divorcing couples to set up what is called a shared parenting agreement. This is a slightly varied form of custody where the parents sit down and create a parenting schedule that works best for both parents and is in the best interest of the children. In a legal sense, the parents would have joint custody of the child or children, but the schedule would not follow that schedule from years ago where it was weekdays with mom, one night a week and every other weekend with dad. Shared parenting allows for a more flexible schedule that will flow nicely with the changing family dynamic and the increased activities that children may participate in as they get older.

Creating a Parenting Schedule

girl holding sign my parents are divorced

Shared parenting agreements ask parents to create a schedule. It can be weekly or monthly and it will map out what a week during the school year looks like for both parents and all the children. Once activities are placed on a schedule or calendar of some sort, parents can then look to determine which nights the children will spend at the home of each parent. It is never in the best interest of the child to bounce back and forth on a daily basis so this schedule will be set up to allow, for instance, maybe two nights at one parent and then three with the other.

The schedule can change weekly or monthly, depending again on the schedules of the parents', the children, and most importantly, the best interests of the child or children involved. The schedule can be changed to accommodate vacations, job travel, and activities that the children may want to do with friends, cousins or other relatives as well. The key to a good shared parenting schedule is one word: flexibility.

Does Shared Parenting Always Work?

parents fighting

Shared parenting is not a system for all divorcing couples. It requires communication, flexibility, and the ability to trust and rely on the other partner in terms of sticking to schedules and absorbing the costs of entertainment for the children while the child is with you. For this type of arrangement to work, it is essential that both you and your spouse work civilly with each other and not use the flexible schedule to interfere with the personal or social lives of the other party.

If your divorce is no-fault and you have had a fairly amicable divorce process, then this arrangement may work for you and your spouse. However, if you are proceeding under any of the other grounds for divorce, i.e. adultery or abuse, then this might not be the best way for you to share your children. Remember, it is the best interests of the child or children that have to be forefront in the minds of both parents. It would not be in their best interest to have this type of shared parenting agreement if all you and your spouse did was fight and argue over the schedule each week or month.

Call Today For A Free Consultation On Shared Custody In New Jersey

Shared parenting is a wonderful way for both parents to stay extremely involved in the daily lives of their child or children. However, it is not without its risks and setbacks. Before committing to this unique type of custody arrangement, it is very important to speak with an attorney who can examine your grounds for divorce and let you know if this is an arrangement you and your ex-spouse could really work with in the long run. The worst thing would be to start your children in a shared parenting routine and then in a month or two have to change things around to a different custody arrangement. That is in nobody's best interest. So, put your children first and speak to an attorney about your options when it comes to custody and shared parenting. Call Villani & DeLuca, P.C. today. We have experienced attorneys waiting to assist you through this difficult process and who will work hard to protect you and your children.


Villani & DeLuca, P.C. serves the Ocean and Monmouth County areas of New Jersey, assistance is just a phone call away - 732-965-3404. Contact us today to discuss shared parenting arrangements in New Jersey — we are here to help!

Vincent DeLuca, Esq.

As a founding partner at Villani & DeLuca, Vincent DeLuca is one of only a few Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey. Mr. DeLuca has helped many clients navigate the delicate details of their own divorce. Mr. DeLuca is also a trained divorce mediator and collaborative divorce attorney. Call today at (732) 965-3404 to speak to Mr. DeLuca or one of our experienced NJ Divorce Lawyers.

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