New Jersey Common Child Custody Questions

How do I file for custody of my child?

What type of custody is right for my family?

What is the difference between custody and visitation?

What are the custody laws for unmarried parents?

What should I expect during a custody battle?

How does a family court decide custody?

How do you prove a parent to be unfit?

Can we change custody or visitation arrangements?

How do I find the right custody attorney in NJ?

The Law Offices of Jef Henninger, Esq. fields a successful team of hardworking New Jersey family court pros. Our child custody lawyers know the ins and outs of the NJ family court system, and will deploy the best strategies in order to get your family back on track. Call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW any time to discuss your case during a free consultation.

notarizing a certificate of divorce

Seeking custody after divorce brings up many questions for your lawyer.

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Passaic County Child Custody Lawyers help client defeat motion to change custody

Passaic County Child Custody Lawyers help client defeat motion to change custody

Tracy B.

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.

Gloucester County Child Custody Attorney helps client win parenting time motion

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.

Warren County Child Custody Lawyers helps client keep sole custody of children

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.

Union County Child Custody Lawyer helps Father keep custody of child

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.

Toms River Child Custody Lawyers help client regain unsupervised visitation

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.

Ocean County Child Custody Lawyer helps client regain visitation rights

J.H.

Ocean County

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.

Ocean County visitation lawyers

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.

Union County Parenting Time Lawyers

Holding the other parent in contempt of court for interfering with parenting time in NJ

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.

Middlesex County Parenting Time Lawyers

Restricting visitation with the other parent’s new paramour in New Jersey

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.

Monmouth County Parenting Time Lawyers