Parents in New Hampshire are generally allowed to retain a relationship with their children after a divorce or separation. The rights and responsibilities of each parent will typically be contained within a written parenting plan. A parenting plan can either be created through mediation or with the help of a family law judge.
Put the child first
A quality parenting plan will ensure that a child’s best interests are met at all times. This may mean that you have to sacrifice parenting time to ensure that your child has the ability to see friends or take part in school activities. It may also mean ceding physical custody to your former partner even if you think that you are better suited to be your child’s primary caregiver.
Flexibility is important
You can’t predict when your child will get sick, want to attend summer camp or have plans that make it impossible to adhere to the letter of a custody or visitation order. Ideally, you will create a document that allows for extended visits or for other ways to see your child when something goes wrong. A quality child custody or visitation plan will also have protocols in place if you have concerns about your ability to be a consistent presence in your child’s life.
Staying active in your child’s life may make a divorce easier on them. It may also make it easier to obtain greater parental rights in the future if you believe that an existing plan doesn’t provide adequate parenting time because a judge will want to see evidence of a strong relationship between a parent and child before granting any additional rights.