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Establishing And Revising Visitation Or A Parenting Time Agreement

Tournour Law is a family law firm located in East Brunswick, and our attorney, Frank Tournour, has been helping clients navigate separation, divorce, paternity, child custody and visitation issues for over 30 years.

New Jersey Law: Noncustodial Parental Rights And Parenting Time

When a parent does not have physical custody after a separation or divorce, they can still have parenting time rights and may be granted visitation so that they can spend time with their child. There are three categories of visitation and parenting time rights for noncustodial parents in New Jersey:

  • Reasonable visitation/parenting time: When the custodial and noncustodial parent can communicate amicably and openly, reasonable visits can be agreed upon ad hoc and without legal intervention. Both parents must agree to the visitation times, durations and locations. In this situation, a schedule does not need to be set in advance.
  • Fixed visitation/parenting time: In these cases, the days, times, location and length of the visits must adhere to a schedule. Fixed visitation is often necessary when the custodial and noncustodial parents do not have an amicable relationship.
  • Supervised visitation/parenting time: For cases in which the noncustodial parent has a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, supervised visits can ensure safe interaction. A court-appointed third party must be present for all visits. This individual is usually a relative or social worker.

Creating A Parenting Time Schedule

Since both parents play an important role in a child’s life, New Jersey courts prefer frequent contact and shared parental responsibility. The goal is to make sure the noncustodial parent is allotted the maximum amount of time appropriate for the situation.

Factors that play a role in determining a visitation schedule or parenting time plan may include:

  • How well the parents can communicate, cooperate and work together in the best interests of the child
  • How well the parents have cooperated with prior visitation plans or court decisions
  • The quality and extent of time spent with the child before and during the separation
  • The geographical distance between each parent’s residence and place of employment, as well as the child’s school
  • Each parent’s work and domestic responsibilities
  • The number of children and relationship between the parents and children
  • Whether the parent has a history of child abuse, violence, drug or alcohol abuse, or any other factors that may affect the emotional and physical well-being of the child
  • The preferences of the child and his or her reasons for that preference
  • Any special needs of the parent or child

In any consideration with respect to child custody or visitation, the primary goal of the court is to make a decision that is in the child’s best interests. At Tournour Law, our team will work hard to ensure that visitation schedules and parenting time plans are created with your child’s best interests in mind.

Modifying Visitation Or The Parenting Time Plan

There are a number of reasons to change or modify a visitation schedule or parenting time plan. These can include a new home, a new job or changes in the child’s schedule. When both parents agree to a new custody or parenting time plan, a consent order can be drafted to outline the changes. If only one parent wishes to change the custody or parenting time plan, a court motion demonstrating a change in circumstances will be needed.

Attorney Tournour can help you request and make changes to your existing visitation schedule or parenting plan. Failing to follow an existing parenting time schedule may result in fines. Seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable divorce lawyer can help you navigate visitation issues within the confines of New Jersey law.

Visitation Issues? Reach Out Today.

Our divorce attorney, Frank Tournour, can help you with whatever challenges you are facing with your parenting time schedule or visitation agreement. Contact our law offices today at 732-913-3634 or visit us online to schedule a consultation.