A child visitation schedule may be created by parents or the court in New Jersey either during or after a divorce. It sets out a schedule for the child's time with each parent that parents must abide by. It is separate from a custody schedule, which is a schedule that is set up if parents are sharing custody.
Even if one parent has primary custody, the court system recognizes that barring issues such as abuse and neglect, children should be able to spend time with both parents. When parents are unable to agree on a visitation schedule because of conflict over the divorce, distance from one another that requires one to travel for visitation or for some other reason, the court may step in and make a schedule. If there is a question about a child's well-being with one parent, that parent may be required to only have supervised visitation.
Schedules for custody or visitation usually also include holidays and vacations. These can be an area of conflict for parents, and without a definite plan, children may felt caught in the middle and as though they must choose. Custody and visitation schedules can change over time. One prompt for a change might be a child getting older and expressing a preference about the schedule.
Parents who are unable to reach an agreement regarding custody and visitation might benefit from mediation. This is an alternative dispute resolution method that works toward a solution that suits both parents, in contrast to the more adversarial nature of litigation. people should keep in mind that parenting disagreements do not mean the other parent is unfit or should not spend time with the child. However, going to court might be necessary in situations of domestic violence or other scenarios in which one parent is concerned about the child's safety.