For example, it may be that kids are young when the parents decide to divorce, and at this age, the parents have the most input into the children’s schedule and activities. However, over time, the kids may want to switch things up – instead of moving back and forth between parents’ homes, they may choose a different approach that works better with their social and academic responsibilities. This change may warrant a parenting plan update and a modification of child support. Similarly, one or more of the children that were living at home, may decide to go college and live away from home. At that point, they may be living with one or both parents for only part of the year. Such developments are common and should be expected. The parents need to have a plan that allows for changes to the schedules and child support so that they do not have to go back to court to rehash old issues.
For some divorcing parents with older children, different issues may arise. For example, the parents may decide that even after their children are legally emancipated, the parents intend to continue to cover certain expenses like cell phones, health insurance and/or car insurance for a number of years. The parenting plan can be drafted to reflect this agreement. In other cases, as parents age, they may want to add their children to be co-owners of assets like investments or bank accounts to smooth any transition as the parents need help caring for themselves or as part of estate planning. Their divorce agreement can be drafted to incorporate these plans.
At Westfield Mediation, LLC, we recognize that parenting is a life-long job. The needs of children change over time, and divorcing parents need a plan that anticipates these changes.
For more information about parenting plans or divorce mediation, please contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, M. Ed., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, at Westfield Mediation, LLC at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at email@example.com.