Time-sharing is also known as visitation or parenting time. It is a critical decision, and New Jersey courts give utmost importance to what is best for a child when deciding how parents will share time with them after a divorce or separation.
When the courts make time-sharing decisions, they consider a variety of factors to create a fair and balanced plan.
Age and needs of the child
The court thinks about how old the child is and what they need at their particular stage of development. This could include their emotional and physical requirements, school commitments and hobbies to come up with a suitable time-sharing arrangement.
Depending on how old and mature the child is, the court may take their preferences into account. The child’s wishes are not the only factor, but the court may consider them if it is in their best interest.
Parents’ availability and suitability
The courts look at whether each parent is available and capable of providing a safe and nurturing home for the child. They check work schedules, living conditions and the parents’ overall ability to meet the child’s needs.
Keeping things stable and consistent in the child’s life is vital. The courts aim to minimize disruptions to the child’s daily routines and relationships with extended family members and friends.
Where the parents live is also a factor. The courts want to make sure that it is practical for both parents and that the child can still be part of their community.
The courts also think about the parenting skills of each parent. This includes their ability to maintain a positive parent-child relationship. Any history of domestic violence, child abuse or neglect is a big concern. The courts prioritize the child’s safety and well-being.
They might evaluate how well parents communicate, cooperate and encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent. The courts encourage parents to work together and come up with a plan together. How well the parents can communicate and collaborate is a significant consideration.
Statistically, 2.2 out of every 1,000 marriages in New Jersey will end in divorce. New Jersey courts evaluate each case individually. When a divorce involves a child, the court’s primary goal is to create a plan that serves the child’s best interests while ensuring that both parents play an active role in their child’s life. This approach seeks to foster a nurturing, supportive and stable environment for the child’s growth and development.