A parent will move mountains for their child. No divorce could block a parent’s love from freely flowing to their child’s warm embrace. But with the emotional intensity of divorce, both spouses must be willing participants in constructing a plan that enables both parties to spend much-needed quality parenting time with their child.
In New Jersey, visitation is generally known as parenting time, which may be appropriate if taken from the perspective that parents must fulfill significant roles for their child’s overall well-being, which are way more than what an average visitor usually does.
A child’s needs depend on their stage of development. An infant requires specific ways of feeding, bathing and sleeping rituals. As they grow into their schooling years, the focus turns to guiding them regarding social behavior and the formation of their individuality. When they eventually mature into teenagers, parents may foster trust by openly discussing the divorce’s terms and how it impacts the family dynamics.
But at some point, time works against busy parents, so what more for divorcing couples? Eventually, they run into problems needing solutions aligned with their child’s best interests.
Addressing parenting time
While there are different parenting frameworks, under New Jersey law, parenting time issues have two primary categories:
- Parenting time interference: This is any action or behavior inhibiting the parent-child relationship. It could range from intercepting modes of communication and deliberately scheduling events during the other party’s supposed parenting time to extreme cases of physically stopping the child from seeing their parent and moving to another state without notifying the other party.
- Nonexercise of parenting time: This is any action or behavior where either party intentionally misses their parenting time or creates a pattern of absenteeism during crucial milestones.
If both parties decide not to go to court for a formal parenting agreement, they may address issues informally. They can meet in person to work out their differences or seek the assistance of a neutral mediator.
But suppose either party violates a court-ordered parenting agreement. In that case, the court may hold the violating parent in contempt, a criminal act punishable by community service, fines, jail time and drastic changes in the parenting time arrangements.
Forever in your child’s life
A parent’s love is infinite. It breaks even the most potent barriers resulting from divorce. But it takes both spouses’ mutual commitment to solving parenting time problems. Enacting remedies with the guidance of a legal counsel can also protect your parental rights and the stability of your child’s future.