What to Know about Liberal and Reasonable Visitation Arrangements in NJ
If Parents Handle a Reasonable And Liberal Visitation Agreement Properly, They Can Avoid the Complexities of Inflexible Schedules and Tight Deadlines in New Jersey.
Not all divorced parents find creating a custody agreement acrimonious. They can work with each other to create a flexible format ordained by the court, which allows them to iron out the specifics based on their work and social schedules. Typically, the parent with physical custody more frequently controls the schedule as they are more familiar with the day-to-day comings and goings of the child. They are not required to accept any specific schedule.
Practical Examples of Liberal Visitation Arrangements in NJ
Lucy and Lyle have been divorced for 18 months. Their 9-year-old twins reside with Lucy but spend most weekends with Lyle, who fortunately lives three streets over. When he wants to take the boys to a movie or sporting event during the week, he calls Lucy a few days ahead of time to let her know. Although she worries about it being a school night, she acquiesces to keep the peace and avoid being accused of keeping the boys from their father.
Bernadette and Bartholemew have three teenagers who would rather not spend time with either one of them. Their parents share custody with a week-on-week-off custody plan they made themselves for scheduling and consistency’s sake as they juggle theater club, sports, orchestra, the school newspaper, and student government activities. When there is a family birthday at the grandparents’ house or another event for a spouse during a week that isn’t theirs, it is understood that the day will be given to that person. As Bernadette and Bartholemew’s split was amicable, this kind of visitation works perfectly for the family and benefits their busy schedules.
Lastly, we have Wendy and Waylon, a recently divorced couple with 2 children under the age of 4. Waylon has an excellent job working from home, allowing him to care for the children. They have an agreement that Wendy can pick up the children after work and take them however many weekends a month she chooses. She rarely sees them during the week or calls as late as 9 PM, demanding to pick them up after they have already gone to bed. When Waylon dissents, Wendy frequently spends several minutes yelling at Waylon and threatening to abscond with the children. He has little choice but to submit a motion to the court requesting a modification to the custodial plan, as her requests are unreasonable.
Reasonable and Liberal Visitation on the Grounds of Amicable Relationships
The courts don’t like to get involved in the details of custody arrangements as they prefer the parents, who know their children’s specific needs, to settle on a framework. The court always looks out for the best interests of the child.
Key Factors the Court Weighs for Determining a Liberal Visitation Arrangement
Firstly, the court considers the parents’ relationship and ability to negotiate and get along when deciding for their children. Secondly, judges will consider the ages of the children. Younger children may need more structure and consistency than liberal visitation can provide. If the children are old enough to voice an opinion and show an interest in the freedom liberal visitation provides, a judge may consider that. Lastly, if one parent is vehemently opposed to the idea of liberal visitation and provides justification for their position, a more specific plan may be created.
Cracks in a Liberal Visitation Agreement
One of the most significant drawbacks of liberal visitation is the inconsistency it can create. If there isn’t a set schedule, it can be challenging to make plans with family and friends without there being conflict. Speaking of conflict, because there isn’t a schedule, arguments are likely to ensue over how long and when visits should occur. The parent with physical custody of the child controls the frequency and duration of the visits by allowing the child to go with the other parent. Moreover, the custodial parent can use visitation as emotional blackmail to control the situation.
Benefits of a Healthy Liberal Visitation Agreement
The benefits of a liberal visitation agreement are twofold. If the former spouses communicate well and have a cordial relationship, sharing parenting time can be as easy as a phone call a few hours ahead. Liberal visitation provides for the flexibility of last-minute plans, such as a spur-of-the-moment weekend camping trip. The second benefit is that when done correctly, liberal visitation creates an environment of teamwork and keeps the focus on the children’s needs and wants in terms of parental visitation time.
Visitation Agreements with a Liberal Approach Are Not Set in Stone
The main requirement for reasonable and liberal visitation to work means the parents must communicate constantly and cooperate to create a balanced schedule. If they try it for several months and it simply isn’t working because one parent is always late or doesn’t say when they will be back with the children, a modification hearing can be sought in court.
Implementing a Reasonable and Liberal Visitation Plan in NJ
Just because your custodial plan doesn’t require specific dates and times for visits, that doesn’t mean you can’t have them. A liberal plan can have some structure, such as weekends and holidays, set up for visitation. Determine a time when plans can be changed, such as 24 hours ahead. If you and your ex can’t agree after much discussion, seek mediation immediately before the relationship deteriorates to the point of no return. This kind of custody agreement only works when everyone feels heard and interprets the schedule to be fair.
Contact our Family Lawyers for Assistance with Your Reasonable and Liberal Visitation Agreement in Little Falls NJ
To assume that former spouses hold no resentment or bitterness toward each other is rather far-fetched. Frequently, custody agreements are about power: the custodial parent has it, and the non-custodial parent wants it. That isn’t to say that some parents aren’t able to use this type of custody plan, but more often than not, it usually results in some kind of modification.
The attorneys at the Montanari Law Group are skilled negotiators. We can create a custody plan that you and your ex can agree to that will benefit you both, but most of all, your children in Woodland Park, Ringwood, Paterson, Clifton, Wayne, Passaic City, Haledon, and elsewhere in Passaic County and Northern New Jersey. Creating a visitation plan on your own can lead to frustration, especially when your ex stonewalls any progress you may have made.