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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This was very difficult because our client went to court without a lawyer and got a final restraining order against him. Adding insult to injury was that he filed a number of frivolous motions which not only upset the judge but it made him look crazy. This in turn led to an award of counsel fees to the other side. Speaking of the other side, they had one of the top local law firms on their side. Thus, the cards were stacked against us. Although it took about 6 months, we chipped away at the case little by little, steadily making progress. My client went from having almost no visitation to supervised visitation to unsupervised visitation on a regular schedule. This despite the incredible resistance that the other side constantly put up including weekly allegations against our client.
This case was a different type of fight. Instead of fighting over custody, we were fighting over jurisdiction. The client knew that the state that established jurisdiction would forever impact his parental rights and obligations. The mother fought to keep the case in New Jersey and we fought to keep it in Pennsylvania. Even though the mother represented herself at the first court appearance, it still wasn’t a cake walk. We had to fight hard to get what we wanted and we did. Within two weeks, the mother hired a powerful law firm to file a motion to reconsider. We had to battle even harder and we did. The Court once again sided with us and the jurisdiction was kept in Pennsylvania.
Our client was the father of the child in this case. In addition to a divorce case, there was also a pending DYFS case. The client fired his lawyer and then hired us. Within just a few months we resolved the DYFS case in his favor. Through the DYFS case, we were then able to get him custody of the child. With custody out of the way, we quickly resolved the divorce case as well. Needless to say, the client was very happy that he came over to us.
This was a tough divorce case because the father wanted custody of the parties’ child and he would not give up. We fought hard for the client and we had more resolve than the other side. It didn’t help that the father’s attorney was very difficult to deal with. Just before trial, we worked out a settlement where the client was the custodial parent. This is what happens when you have an aggressive child custody lawyer that is fully prepared to go to trial.