Category Archives: Child Custody Law
By finally coming to a custody agreement, you’ve walked a delicate tightrope to balance the schedules and needs of everyone in your family. Perhaps you needed a court to intervene in your contentious relationship and settle everything. However, when circumstances change and something isn’t working, you might find yourself needing to change your parenting time arrangements. Read the rest of this entry
New Jersey parenting plans are designed to make life easier for the children involved. Child custody can be established by a judge if parents can’t agree, but it is always best if parents work together on the details. When parents agree on a child custody calendar, New Jersey family courts will honor their parenting plan unless it is not in the child’s best interest.
If a previous custody resolution process like an assessment or mediation yields no solution, the court may order a full child custody evaluation at the parents’ expense. Parents may agree to a single evaluator or each retain their own separately, and the court may also order a neutral evaluator.
New Jersey Child Custody Dispute Resolution Process
A child custody dispute that parents or other interested family members cannot resolve land in front of a New Jersey family court judge, and may be sent to a custody and parenting time mediation program. In this resolution process, an impartial third party mediates the parents’ custody and parenting time disagreements, giving them the opportunity to develop a plan together.
Custody and visitation share much in common, but have many differences. Parental rights distinguish someone with visitation from someone with custody, and the two terms cannot be interchanged. Don’t be confused by the overlapping legal definitions or individual types.
Courts distinguish marital faults from misconduct that indicates an unfit parent. In other words, proof of a horrible spouse does not automatically deem that spouse an unfit parent, and seeking custody doesn’t have to eliminate parenting time. Although no one is legally required to parent perfectly, the court can decide that the dangerously imperfect are unfit.
Unmarried parents routinely have the same custody, support, and visitation problems that married ones have. Establishing paternity is vital in nondissolution custody cases, when unmarried partners separate. New Jersey family courts make no assumption about a father’s identity when an unmarried woman gives birth.
What are the types of custody in NJ?
In effect, there are nearly as many possible types of custody schedules as there are families. However, there are four main custody categories, types, or distinctions:
How to file for custody in NJ
To request custody of your child, you need to file documents to petition the court and make your case before a family court judge. The process to file for custody of a child in New Jersey can vary between jurisdictions, and a judge could issue penalties or dismiss your case outright if any part is filed incorrectly. Make sure to fully understand how the law works in the county where your child lives.
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.