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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
Phone: (201) 467-4180
Fax: (201) 997-9567
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Parenting plans must be tailored to a child's age and needs

People who are going through child custody cases in New Jersey might hear about parenting plans. These plans help to line out each parent's participation in the child's life. In most cases, parents determine the parenting plan; however, if the parents can't decide on a parenting plan on their own they can petition the court to work with a mediator to come up with a plan. There are some specific considerations for parenting plans that are based on the child's age.

Teenagers who are dealing with their parents divorcing might have some very specific concerns about the divorce. Teens often have a high level of understanding when it comes family dynamics. Because of this, they should be a party to parenting plan development. Keeping the teen's outside activities, friends and development in mind is vital.

Children who are in school often have a community of friends that they rely on. They might also have activities that they enjoy and a routine they are accustomed to. Children at this age are sometimes resistant to change, so trying to avoid total upheaval might be a good idea. Keeping those factors in mind might help parents determine a suitable parenting plan for children of this age.

Infants and preschoolers both have very basic needs that have to be considered. Keeping things as consistent as possible can help children of this age adjust to the divorce. Since infants are totally reliant on adults and preschoolers are almost totally reliant on adults, it is vital that both parents understand how to care for the child. It is also vital for the parents to work together to stay abreast of the current needs of the children.

As you can see, parenting plans can be a valuable tool for child custody cases. Knowing your rights and ensuring that your child's rights and needs are protected can help you as you come up with a parenting plan for your child.

Source: State of New Jersey, "Parenting Time: A Child's Right" Dec. 16, 2014

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