Overnight Parenting Time and Homework in New Jersey
In the world of family law, overnight parenting time during the school week is often a difficult issue to resolve, as recently demonstrated in the case of M.C. v. P.C., which was decided by the Hon. Lawrence Jones, J.S.C. on November 28, 2016.
Judge Jones determined, as a matter of law, that while midweek overnight parenting time is not per se contrary to a child’s best interests, the parent has a responsibility to ensure that homework assignments are completed and that the child is ready for school the next day. Otherwise, the court may in its discretion vacate the overnight feature or, in more extreme cases, truncate or even eliminate midweek parenting time during the school year.
Clearly, such cases must be decided on a fact-specific basis; for example, whether such lapses in oversight are sporadic, occasional, or frequent, and whether sufficient proof exists to demonstrate that the child’s educational interests have actually been compromised.