It’s difficult to tell by the weather outside and the snow that’s lingering on the ground, but for many families in New Jersey Spring Break is upon us. Which raises the question:  Where will your children be spending Spring Break?  People often think that custody is highly litigated in divorce actions.  This is true sometimes, however as a general rule it’s not custody that causes problems, but parenting time.  Holidays, weekends and vacations are a vital part of parenting time because they are the fun part.  Weekdays are all about work for parents and children – getting to school, getting home from school and getting ready for school the next day.  Weekends are about fun.  How to split up those weekends is less fun.

Fortunately, the New Jersey Courts have systems in place to help parents resolve these issues. Initially, if a Complaint for Divorce is filed in New Jersey and there is a child under the age of 18 both parents are directed to attend a Parents’ Education Program.  The goal of the Parents’ Education Program is to promote cooperation between the parties and to assist parents in resolving issues connected to their children that may arise during the divorce or separation process.  A few of the goals of the program are:  Understanding the legal process and cost of divorce or separation; understanding the financial responsibilities for the children; understanding the interaction between parent and child and the family relationship during a divorce or separation; understanding how children react to divorce or separation and understanding how parents can help their children during the process.

The parents are scheduled for separate programs. The programs themselves are offered throughout the month, both during the day and after work, in order to make it convenient for parents to attend.  This is the first tool that the New Jersey Courts have to help in parents in understanding the process and hopefully in being able to reach an agreement as to parenting time.

Which still leaves the question of: Where will your children be spending Spring Break?  Or maybe this year the question is:  Do your children have Spring Break or did they lose it to snow?

If you have any questions about custody and parenting time we at Iandoli & Edens, LLC will be happy to discuss your concerns with you, please call our firm at 908-879-9499.