How A Childs Age Affects Visitation
How a child’s age affects visitation
When couples with children divorce, the focus should be on the children. Making decisions about custody and visitation can be one of the more contentious aspects of divorce, but it’s also one of the most important ones. However, how your custody and visitation orders are set up and what may need to be adjusted later on depend a great deal on the ages of the children involved.
While many people believe that the younger the child, the easier the divorce will be, preschool-age children need a great deal of consistency and regular parenting time with both parents to adjust to it. It’s important for the routines surrounding custody exchanges to be as consistent as possible, as well as the dates and times the child spends with each person. This age group generally does do well, however, with surprise extra visits with a parent.
School-age children require much the same consistency as the younger group, but it can be harder for parents to achieve. These children often have extracurricular activities that fall during parenting times, and it’s important for both parents to respect this. Moving out of the school district also becomes a bigger issue at this age and may require a change in the custody or visitation orders.
By the time the children are teenagers, they are usually able to develop and maintain relationships with both parents on their own. If the divorce happened when the children were younger, this may be a good time to see if any adjustments need to be made. If you have questions about this process or if and how much your teen’s opinion would be considered in court, your attorney can help.
Source: New Jersey Judiciary Administrative Office of the Courts, “Parenting time: A child’s right,” accessed Feb. 26, 2016