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Creating child visitation schedules around work schedules

When New Jersey parents of young children get a divorce, a variety of schedules for child custody and visitation may be available. The most important elements of such a plan are that parents are on time and that they are able to offer support to their children.

Many parents still find that a traditional arrangement that allows the child to visit the noncustodial parent every other weekend works well. This can be scheduled from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday, or parents may decide to extend it to Monday. To give the noncustodial parent a little more time with the child, some parents also build in a Wednesday night visit from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This could also be turned into an overnight visit.

Parents whose work schedules do not offer consistent 9-to-5 Monday through Friday hours can still create a plan that works for them. One parent might have the job of picking up the child at school each day, taking the child to any after-school activities, making dinner and helping the child with homework. The noncustodial parent might have the child on two or three weekdays each week instead of on weekends.

In other cases, parents may opt for joint custody instead of a visitation arrangement for one parent, but the principles for a successful schedule remain the same. With joint custody, the child might alternate weeks or days with each parent. Clear communication with one another and with the child will be key to making any of these arrangements work. During the divorce, parents can work with their respective attorneys to create a parenting plan that addresses any potential areas of conflict and establishes consistent rules for both households.

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