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Articles Posted in Child Custody And Visitation

Separation or divorce is never an easy situation, especially when children are involved. This can particularly be the case when younger children are part of the family. One of the biggest challenges that parents might face after separation or divorce is preparing their child for their first overnight parenting time session. This can be a stressful and emotional experience for both the parents and the child. However, with some planning and preparation, parents can help their child have a positive experience during the first overnight parenting time with the noncustodial parent.

Communicate with Your Child

 Before the overnight visit, talk to your child about what to expect during the visit. Explain that it is a normal part of spending time with both parents and reassure them that you will be back to see them soon. Acknowledge that your child may have some concerns or questions about the planned parenting time and encourage them to express themselves openly.

Visit the Location Beforehand

 If the overnight parenting time is taking place in a new location, try to visit beforehand so your child can become familiar with the surroundings. This will help your child feel more comfortable and confident when they arrive for the overnight visit. If it is not possible to visit the location beforehand, consider sharing pictures or videos of the place with your child. Continue Reading →

Divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. In the state of New Jersey, parents who are going through a divorce are required to participate in a Parent Education Program or PEP. The PEP is a requirement for all parents who are seeking a divorce in the state of New Jersey, regardless of whether they have children or not.

Assist Parents to Understand the Impact of Divorce

The purpose of the PEP is to help parents understand the wide-ranging impact of marriage dissolution on children, and to provide them with the tools they need to help their children through the process. The program aims to educate parents about the impact of divorce on the emotional and psychological well-being of their children, and how they can decrease the possibility for negative implications of divorce on their children.

PEP is Education and Not Counseling

PEP is not a counseling session, but rather an educational program. The program is designed to be informative and practical, with a focus on providing parents with the tools they need to help their children through the process of divorce. Continue Reading →

A New Jersey divorce truly is a life-altering experience. This particularly is the case when children are involved. The process can be emotionally draining and otherwise challenging for divorcing parents and children alike. It is vital for parents to maintain a healthy relationship with your children post-divorce. One of the best ways to achieve this is through video communication. There are seven key benefits associated with video communication following a New Jersey divorce.

The seven key benefits of using video communication to keep close to kids after divorce are:

  • Staying connected
  • Better communication
  • Sharing experiences
  • Build strong relationships
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Cost effective
  • Peace of mind

We discuss each of these important benefits in turn.

Stay Connected

Using video communication, parents can stay connected with children when kids are at the other parent’s home. Video communication provides a sense of closeness and comfort, which is essential for parents and children alike. A keyway in which parents and children can maintain meaningful relationships after divorce is through regular connections between mothers, fathers, and kids.

Better Communication Continue Reading →

It is almost a cliché to state that divorce is hard on children. The reason it is something of a cliché is because divorce and children is a challenging mix. There are specific ways in which parents can help their children maneuver successfully through the divorce process. There are five key strategies that parents can use as a means to support kids during the marriage dissolution process:

  • Maintain daily routines
  • Communicate with children in an age-appropriate manner
  • Appropriately reassure the kids
  • Keep children abreast of custody and parenting time issues
  • Listen to your kids

Maintain Daily Routines

A key strategy to employ to support your children during a divorce is to maintain preexisting daily routines whenever possible. The mere fact that you and your spouse are divorcing already serves to upend many elements of your family life. You provide an added level of stability to the lives of your children by maintaining some of the basic routines that you enjoyed before your New Jersey marriage dissolution started. Examples of daily routines include such simple things like:

  • Nightly dinner time
  • Attend religious services
  • Participating in afterschool activities
  • Other traditional family rituals and activities

Communicate with Children in an Age-Appropriate Manner

Regular and reliable communication between parent and child is always a must. Open, honest, regular communication becomes even more important when parents are divorcing.

When it comes to divorce and children, you need to make sure lines of communication remain open with your kids. A key element of divorce and children communication is to make sure that you speak with your kids using age-appropriate language. Depending on the age of your children, they will have different understandings of your divorce. Indeed, age and maturity level more generally dictate the manner in which your kids receive and process information. Continue Reading →

A trend that is becoming more evident in New Jersey divorce cases is that of collaborative parenting. Collaborative parenting is a set of tactics and strategies by which divorcing and divorced parents undertake their duties and exercise their rights as parents in a truly cooperative manner. This type of parenting is designed to foster a healthier environment for children during divorce proceedings and once a marriage dissolution case has concluded. There are a trio of primary collaborative parenting tactics that need to be borne in mind in order to better guarantee the prospect that this type of co-parenting effort will succeed:

  • Separate your feelings from behavior
  • Keep children out of the fray
  • Enhance communication with other parent

Separate Feelings from Behavior

Emotions can present significant challenges when it comes to parenting in the aftermath of a divorce. Human beings by their very nature are emotionally driven in many circumstances. This particularly can prove to be the case when parents are dealing with matters associated with their children following the end of a marriage. Continue Reading →

You may be like many people who would like to take their children on a vacation out of the state of New Jersey following a divorce. When it comes to children after divorce, there really is nothing at all unusual about an out of state vacation. With that in mind, there are some points to bear in mind when it comes to planning an out of state vacation with children after divorce:

  • Understand terms of divorce decree
  • Begin discussions with other parent early
  • Destinations matter
  • Length of time matters
  • Consider a written vacation plan
  • Arrange for appropriate virtual connections between children and other parent

Understand Divorce Decree

When planning out of state travel with children after divorce, the first step in the process is to make sure that you understand what is and is not permitted pursuant to the terms of the marriage dissolution decree. For example, a New Jersey divorce decree may have some specific travel requirements, particular restrictions, and a pre-trip process that needs to be filed when considering an out of state vacation.

Commence Vacation Discussions Early

Open, reliable communication is important when it comes to addressing issues involving children in a post-divorce world. This certainly is the case when it comes to a parent who desires to take a child or children out of state for a vacation following the end of a marriage. By beginning discussions about an out of state vacation with the kids on a proactive basis, any potential issues can be identified early on and hopefully addressed to the satisfaction of all involved. Continue Reading →

One of the most challenging aspects of parents making the decision to end their marriage is finding the best way to tell their children of their intentions. Parents understandably want to limit the emotional impact divorce has on children whenever possible. Nonetheless, issues surrounding children and divorce are complex and fraught with the possibility for challenges. With all of this in mind, there are some tactics to consider employing when it comes to how you tell your children about your decision to divorce.

Establish a Unified Front as Parents

Co-parenting is word that you will hear or read with some regularity when it comes to a divorce involving children. You and your spouse need to find a way to co-parent going forward into the future in order to protect the best interests of your children.

An ideal time to begin the process of co-parenting is when you inform your children that you have made a decision to divorce. If at all possible, you and your spouse should discuss the decision to seek a marriage dissolution together. The wellbeing of your children is better served if both parents share in communicating the decision to divorcer with their offspring. Continue Reading →


Many people in the United States have general ideas of what is involved in divorce proceedings, even when they personally have not been involved in such cases themselves. Television shows and films regularly feature divorce cases and marriage dissolution proceedings as part of their productions. With that said, a most Americans likely are unfamiliar with a guardian ad litem and what such a person does in a divorce case.

There are three primary points of consideration when it comes to having a basic understanding of the functions of a guardian ad litem in a divorce case:

  • Definition of guardian ad litem
  • Types of domestic court or family court cases in which a guardian ad litem is appointed
  • Guardian ad litem and child custody and parenting time issues

Definition of a Guardian Ad Litem

The training and functions of individuals appointed by courts to serve as a guardian ad litem are based on the provisions of the laws of a particular state. There can be some fairly significant differences in the laws from one state to another.

With that said, the basic definition used across the country is a person appointed by a court to watch over or protect an individual during a judicial proceeding. At first blush, this may sound like the duties of an attorney representing a party to a case. In fact, in many jurisdictions, a guardian ad litem has a law degree and additional specialized training. Continue Reading →


Many people are familiar with the most basic types of custody arrangements in divorce, separation, and paternity cases. They likely have some basic concept of joint custody, sole custody, and shared custody. What they probably are unfamiliar with is a fairly new custodial concept known as bird’s nest custody. With that in mind, there are some basic facts and factors important to understand about bird’s nest custody:

  • Basic definition of bird’s nest custody
  • Bird’s nest custody and the best interests of a child
  • Enhanced stability for a child
  • Challenges if a parent has a new relationship

Basic Definition of Bird’s Nest Custody

Bird’s nest custody is an arrangement in which the child or children always reside in the same residence during and after a divorce of legal separation. Each parent takes turns staying in that residence with the minor child, a process oftentimes referred to as “bird nesting.” Bird’s nest custody differs from more traditional schemes where the child shuttles back and forth between the two residences maintained by the parents. Continue Reading →


Parenting time is the legal term of art applied to the time noncustodial parents spend with children in divorce, legal separation, and paternity actions. The phrase “parenting time” has been broadly adopted in the past generation as a replacement to “visitation,” the long-used term used to identify the time spent between noncustodial parents and children. Generally, parenting time should be regular and generous. The objective is to ensure that noncustodial parents and children develop meaningful relationships. Understanding this basic background, situations to arise when supervised parenting time or visitation becomes necessary.

A number of points warrant discussion when considering supervised parenting time. These include:

  • Overview of parenting time supervision
  • Situations that give rise to need for parenting time supervision
  • Termination of supervised parenting time
  • Suspension of parenting time

Overview of Parenting Time Supervision

When an issue arises as to whether parenting time should be supervised, a court applies a judicial standard that focuses on what is in the best interests of a child. Supervised parenting time is instituted when protecting and preserving the best interests of a child necessitates this step, a move that is considered drastic in the grand scheme of things. Continue Reading →

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