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.
There is very little authority on the topic of step parent visitation in New Jersey. One reported case on the topic is Kipstein v Zalewski, 230 NJ Super 567 (Ch. Div. 1988). In that case, the Court found that there is no automatic right to step parent visitation in New Jersey but at the same time, it is not completely barred. This is a good example of a bad set of facts making bad law. In this case, the step-parent moved for visitation with the child even though he had only been married to the natural mother for one year. In addition, the child apparently did not want visitation with him either. Thus, one has to question why he moved for visitation in the first place.
It is assumed that anyone hiring an attorney to enforce step parent visitation rights will have a much better case and that the child will at least want to take part in the visitation. The petitioner should set forth the exact reasons why visitation is needed and what parental activities the petitioner engaged in, for how long, etc. Detail is important and other witnesses would also be important.
If you are seeking step parent visitation in New Jersey or you are defending against a motion for visitation, call the team of aggressive New Jersey visitation lawyers today and allow us to fight for you!