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.
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!
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.