New Jersey parents who are getting a divorce may be concerned about the welfare of their children. Even in a contentious divorce, there are many things they can do to ensure they are able to co-parent effectively.
First, parents may want to work with attorneys who will use alternate dispute resolution methods such as mediation rather than going straight to litigation. This may help them reach an agreement on custody with which they are both satisfied. Parents may be able to remove themselves from the immediate emotion of the situation by thinking of each other as a business partner. They can get the help of their attorneys in creating the parenting agreement if necessary. Part of this can include making a plan for conflict resolution. Parents could agree to return to mediation at any time if necessary.
Parents should encourage their children’s relationship with the other parent during and after divorce and communicate with each othre about what is happening in their children’s lives. This can be done by text or email if the relationship is too contentious for phones or face-to-face meetings. Parents should also be clear about their boundaries and their privacy, but they should also try to be flexible with one another.
If parents do have disputes about child support or other issues, they should try to keep these conflicts away from their children. There are legal channels for getting a parent to pay child support, and parents are not permitted to deny access to a child as a result of falling behind. If changes happen that mean the agreement regarding child support or custody needs to be modified, such as a job loss or moving to another city, parents should return to court to request a modification.