Many factors are involved in determining the parenting arrangement after divorce, including but not limited to, the parents’ ability to cooperate and communicate, the parents’ historic roles during the marriage, the feasibility of a parenting arrangement considering the work responsibilities of the parents, and the proximity of the parents’ homes after the divorce. Also, issues of abuse and unfitness (e.g. drug/alcohol issues and domestic violence) are, of course, considered. Preference of the child, when over the age of 14, is a relevant factor. Educational opportunities for the children and the children’s age are also relevant factors to be considered.
In today’s world, typically both mothers and fathers actively participate in the day-to-day care of their children. So after the divorce, the children should also have the benefit of spending quality time with both parents.
Both the Courts and psychologists support shared parenting arrangements. An arrangement that is best for the child depends on the age of the child. The need for young children to bond may be different than the needs of older children, who prefer longer blocks of time to avoid shifting back and forth. Both mothers and fathers are necessary in a child’s life. A typical shared parenting arrangement that is effective in many cases is: Monday Tuesday (Parent 1), Wednesday Thursday (Parent 2), Friday Saturday, and Sunday alternated by parents, so each parent has a block of five days.
Tanya Helfand is the founder of Helfand & Associates. A New Jersey law firm in Whippany, New Jersey. At Helfand & Associates, they believe mediation or negotiation should be used first to avoid costly litigation but are willing to go to trial to protect your interest. Tanya is a Certified Attorney through the Supreme Court of New Jersey.