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Designing a child custody agreement that works post-divorce

New Jersey parents who are in the midst of a divorce often struggle with how to lessen the impact of their split on the children. A carefully crafted child custody agreement can help in doing just that. The agreements made between the parents during such a challenging time can form a foundation upon which the parents can build a civil, if not amicable, future as they continue to raise their children together despite the end of the marital relationship.

One of the most important things to do for the children as the family moves from being one household to two is consistency. Parents can negotiate one set of rules that apply to discipline, bedtime and a curfew, along with time allotted for play time such as video games, will provide the children with the structure they need. Otherwise, the children will easily get confused, which could lead to behavioral issues and other problems.

New Jersey parents can also agree not to discuss around the children issues about their relationship, the divorce or any other disagreements the parties might have. They can also agree not to pry into each other's personal lives by "interrogating" the children. Even if one parent was primarily responsible for the children's daily routine, that does not mean that parent needs to continue to do so after the divorce. Those duties can be shared as the parties see fit.

Parents can also agree that once the child custody agreement is finalized, they will respect each other's time with the children. Even when couples are barely able to be in a room together in the weeks and months following the filing of the divorce, each party often recognizes that the other is a good parent and loved by the children. Acknowledging this fact can often get parents to sit down and negotiate an agreement that both parties can support.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Pieces Of Parenting Advice To Help Children Adjust Post-Divorce", Joshua Stern, Sept. 14, 2016

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