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Shared parenting time in divorce: How to avoid problems

The New Jersey court typically believes it is best for children to continue to have active, healthy relationships with both parents after divorce. It's tough on kids to get used to their parents living in separate households, however. If shared parenting time is possible, it is often the best option to help children cope and retain a sense of normalcy in their daily lives.

Parents who agree to shared custody plans will want to present themselves as team players for their kids' sake. One of the easiest ways to do this is to abstain from speaking negatively about each other. Children tend to internalize negative comments. Think about it: What happens if a child is told he or she is so much like his or her parent, then the other parent says awful things about that person. The child may think his mother or father feels the same way about him or her.

Shared custody works best when parents place children's needs ahead of their own desires. Ages of children, what their current level of activity outside the home happens to be and numerous other issues may influence decisions regarding a particular custody arrangement. Many parents find that alternating weeks is the simplest way to co-parent after divorce. Children would live with one parent for a week, then the other for the next; of course, special arrangements might need to be made regarding birthdays, holidays and special events.

Some New Jersey parents simply agree that whichever parent happens to have custody on a special occasion, that's the parent the child shares it with. Others decide they'll both spend holidays and special events with their children, so they experience a whole-family atmosphere from time to time. Shared parenting time can be successful in many cases, if both parties are willing to respect each other and work together for the good of their children. If a legal problem arises, it can often be more swiftly resolved by reaching out to an experienced family law attorney for support.

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