Author Archives: jefhenninger
Passaic County Child Custody Lawyers help client defeat motion to change custody
This client made a real mess out of her situation. She had been handling her case without an attorney for years and she made a lot of wrong moves that could have cost her custody of her children. The father sought to change custody and to remove the children to another state. In addition to dating a boyfriend that was a sex offender, the client also had DYFS (now DCPP) involvement and was alleged to have a drug problem. Nevertheless, our lawyers fought back hard against the motion and it was completely defeated. The father stormed out of court in anger.
This once again shows that this firm handles both sides of custody matters.
T.M. Gloucester County Child Custody Motion
In this case, the client was facing a motion from the father of the child for increased visitation in Gloucester County Superior Court (Woodbury). She was very nervous because she wanted to protect the child from the father. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do but we assured her that if we fought the case hard and shut it down, she could then be in complete control of the parenting time schedule instead of having it forced upon her. This allows her to protect her child much better since the father had a history of drug use, unstable housing and criminal activity. While it involved a lot of work, we were able to shut down the father’s motion for increased visitation.
If you have a child custody issue that you need help with, call the team of tough, smart Gloucester County Child Custody Lawyers today.
T.S. Warren County Child Custody Case
Our Warren County Child Custody Lawyers helped this client in her divorce case. A few months later, the father filed a motion for joint legal custody and other relief. Our child custody lawyers fought hard against the father’s motion. We called it what is was – harassment. Luckily, the court denied his entire motion. We showed him that our client would not be harassed by his frivolous motions. If you are being harassed by frivolous child custody motions in any court in New Jersey, call our team of tough, smart lawyers today to discuss your case.
V.C. – Union County Child Custody Case
In this case, both parents were fighting over custody of their young child. The parties were not married and they had never been to court before. Due to some of the mother’s mental health issues, the father claimed custody of the child when the parties broke up. Popular thinking is that fathers cannot get custody of young children. Our Union County Child Custody Lawyers were confident going in to the court appearance that we would be able to maintain the father as the primary custody of the child. However, when the mother showed up with her own lawyer, who is clearly a top Child Custody Lawyer, we knew that this was going to be a knock down, drag out fight. It is rare to see a case with two child custody lawyers in a FD case in Union County. After arguing the case in front of the judge, the court sides with our lawyers and the father was awarded physical custody of the child. Our lawyers were also successful in making sure that the mother’s parenting time was supervised.
Don’t let someone tell you that fathers cannot get custody of children in New Jersey. It is possible. Call our Union County Child Custody Lawyers today to discuss your case.
Our Toms River Child Custody Lawyers helped a client regain her parental rights today in Ocean County Superior Court. The client was facing a tough DYFS case at the same time her divorce case was going on. As a result of her cases being mismanaged by a prior attorney, her case was a total mess. In fact, these cases appeared hopeless from the surface. However, when our lawyers see a tough case, we get tougher.worked non-stop to fight against the non-stop allegations from her husband, the law guardian and DYFS. The judge was a second away from putting the client in in-patient but we prevented it from happening.continued to fight hard and at the next court appearance, we got the DYFS case dismissed and as a result, the client’s visitation was no longer supervised.
In this case, our client (the father) had a vindictive ex call DYFS (now DCPP) on him and make false allegations of child abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, the client did not call us when dealing with the DYFS investigation. Like many people, he felt that he didn’t need a lawyer because he didn’t do anything wrong. He wasn’t using drugs so why not take a drug test? After passing several tests, he failed one. He swore that he didn’t use any drugs so we made sure that he took a hair follicle test. We then worked with DYFS to close out their investigation once we were able to show them that this was a false positive. We also made sure that DYFS sent over a report to the court. The timing of everything was very close but the court received everything the day before the motion date. As a result, the mother’s motion to suspend parenting time was denied and our client’s visitation rights were restored just in time for the holidays.
How to handle a parent that signs a child up for activities that limit the other parent’s visitation in NJ
Its amazing how many activities children are in these days. There seems to be an endless supply of sports, clubs, meetings and other activities that keep children occupied constantly. This presents a problem when the custodial parent signs up the child for an activity that interferes with the other parent’s visitation. Of course, it is preferable if both parents communicate and agree on the child’s activities but this isn’t always the case.
In Wagner v. Wagner, 165 N.J. Super. 553 (App. Div. 1979), the Appellate Division was faced with a mother who enrolled the children in Hebrew school without the consent of the father. The problem was that the time of the Hebrew school interfered with the father’s parenting time. The Appellate Division found that alternatives had not been fully explored and remanded the matter for a plenary hearing. The Court noted that parenting time is so important that the court should hold a hearing to establish to fashion a plan of parenting time more commensurate with the child’s welfare.
Unfortunately, some people just accept the other parent interfering with their parenting time by signing the child up for a number of activities. Don’t let it happen to you. Call the team of tough, smart New Jersey parenting time lawyers today.
A contempt proceeding should be brought under R. 1:10-2 against the other parent for interfering with parenting time. Under R. 1:10-3, monetary sanctions are available. Often times, lawyers will file a motion to enforce litigant’s rights and simply ask the Court to verbally scold the other parent. I view these case as dealing with any other bully. The best way to get a bully to back down is to stand up for yourself and punch them in the mouth. Clearly, assaulting the other parent is not advisable but standing up for yourself in court and using the court to deliver a serious blow to them will often get them to back down.
Now I’ve heard every excuse in the book as to why the other side will not listen to any court order. In fact, I find it odd that people would call a lawyer only to tell the lawyer that the other side cannot be defeated. Why call the lawyer in the first place? Quite often, the prospective client has handled the case on their own or did not have an aggressive lawyer in the past. I cannot think of any case that our firm has handled where we could not help our client get parenting time unless the parent was involved with DYFS. Even with serious DYFS allegations, we can almost always get the client some visitation.
Thus, if you want to enforce your parenting time and teach the other side that you will not back down, speak to one of our tough, smart lawyers about filing a motion to hold the other parent in contempt.
I’m always amazed how people that are divorced or separated seem to rush right into a new relationship. The concern is that this relationship will not last although the parent will likely argue that this time is different. The other parent will likely have a number of concerns. The first concern by the other parent is that this parent will have a number of relationships and if the child is exposed to all of these people, the child will harmed psychologically. The other concern is that the person poses a danger to the child. When the parent has a new girlfriend, the most common “danger” is smoking or substance abuse. If the parent has a new boyfriend, the most common “danger” is physical abuse or substance abuse, possibly based upon the boyfriend’s past record. I have seen a number of women clients meet a guy and move him into the house without knowing much about him. All of them have told me that they know about his background and that they trust him. Of course, as the case goes on, more of the boyfriend’s background comes out and often times, the parties break up as a result.
I’m not here to tell people who to date but rushing into a relationship and bringing the new paramour around the child or even worse, moving that paramour in, could cause big problems. Even if you are 100% convinced that the child will not be harmed in anyway, you have to figure out how the other parent will handle this issue. In the examples I have provided, these women spent a ton of money to fight over a new paramour who left them before the case was over. Thus, if the other parent will give you a big problem, you have to really figure out whether its worth it to fight over this new paramour who may wind up leaving you when things get difficult. Remember, I’m sure you had no plans on breaking up with the other parent and yet, you did. Thus, while you may indeed stay with this new paramour forever, the odds are against it. Either way, I think the money spent on lawyers fighting over this issue is better spent on a college fund.
This of course doesn’t mean that the new paramour has to stay away forever. Instead, take baby steps when you introduce the new paramour to the child and try to get the input from the other parent. After all, they will likely be in the same position at some point.
With all the dead beat parents out there, you’d think that custodial parents everywhere would welcome involvement from the other parent. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, custody battles make up a huge portion of the court cases in New Jersey. Our team of custody lawyers have seen huge custody and visitation battles in countless cases through the entire state. One common scenario that comes up is when a parent, often (but not always) the father, seeks to reinstate parenting time after years of not having any. The reasons vary, but often it involves the custodial parent thwarting visitation.
Like many problems, prevention is the best medicine. I cannot remember a case where we could not help a client get visitation if the parent did not have any serious problems such as substance abuse allegations or physical abuse. In fact, even with serious substance abuse allegations, we have still been able to get our clients good parenting time schedules under the circumstances. Often times, it seems that people do not hire a lawyer or they hire a lawyer that does nothing. Either way, they get discouraged and years go by without any real contact with the child. It sometimes take a lot of hard work by a very aggressive attorney to hold the other side’s feet to the fire to enforce visitation. Criminal charges and motions are your best bet. Court orders must have teeth to them and if you don’t stop fighting, the court will almost always back you up. Nothing upsets the court more than having a party disregard its orders. I don’t want to hear how difficult the other side is or what a pain their attorney is. We’ve seen it all and we’ve battled back.
If you are unfortunately in a situation where you have had little to no contact with your children in quite some time, the good news is that you can get back on track if you are willing to take baby steps. You cannot think that you will suddenly go from having no contact to an overnight weekend in a day. That just doesn’t happen. You will need to get reintroduced to the child and depending on the child’s age and the amount of time without contact with the child, your contact may even need to be supervised. This is because you don’t know how the child is going to react. The child may freak out and someone familiar needs to be there to calm the child down. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all initial contact will be supervised; its just one of many options.
The court order should work like a ladder. Either you will return to court after a few weeks to discuss the progress or the court order will have a self executing schedule of increasing parenting time eventually leading up to a normal visitation schedule. Of course, this is easier said than done and it will often depend on what type of fight is put up by the other side. If you want to get your visitation back, call our team of tough, smart lawyers today and allow us to fight for you!