When a relationship ends and there are children involved, parents struggle to find a way to make the transition easier on them. Arrangements need to be made for child support and custody. Many New Jersey parents might believe that the two issues are only tangentially related when, in actuality, they are inexorably intertwined.

Part of the calculation for child support involves how much parenting time each of you receives. Because of this, it would be beneficial to negotiate a parenting plan first. Every custody arrangement should include what is best for the children, along with what is realistically feasible for each parent. These days, parents who are willing to work together to come to an agreement have a variety of options, depending on what will work best for everyone involved.

Thereafter, an amount of child support can be determined. Under ordinary circumstances, the courts will consider the income of each parent, educational and medical needs of the child and other extraordinary expenses, along with parenting time. The base amount can then be adjusted up or down depending on your family’s specific circumstances.

When drafting a custody agreement, you and the other parent can address issues such as holidays, vacations and other events during which the children would more than likely want both of you present. Those arrangements are often dependent on how well the two of you are able to get along post-divorce, so flexibility might also need to be built into the agreement. A New Jersey family law attorney can help you understand the differences between legal and physical custody, help negotiate your parenting plan and help arrive at an amount of child support that is in line with the state-mandated guidelines to ensure that any agreement you and the other parent arrive at will be approved by the court.