Your children are precious to you, and you want what is best for them. But there is little doubt about it, child custody issues can be complicated – both legally and emotionally. How do you know which custody arrangement is right for your kids? And what can you do to make sure that your relationships with your kids — and your rights as a parent — are protected, both now and in the future?
In New Jersey, decisions about child custody and parenting time must be based on a child’s best interests. This is why no one form of custody is given preference over another. All families are different, and custody arrangements reflect this. What your custody arrangement ultimately looks like will be based on many factors, such as each parent’s pre-existing relationship with the child, parent work schedules, and your child’s psychological needs, as well as any special or medical needs. Custody laws in New Jersey are gender neutral, giving both parents equal footing in the eyes of the law.
Child Custody Options & Guidelines
Courts in New Jersey can order many different custodial arrangements for children, including sole custody, joint legal custody, and shared legal and physical custody. In considering the most appropriate arrangement for your child, it is important to recognize that New Jersey child custody includes both physical custody, which governs where your child will live, and legal custody, which governs which parent or parents have decision-making authority regarding how your child will be raised and cared for. Find out the various child custody options and what might be right for your situation.
Visitation or Parenting Time Plans
In New Jersey, courts refer to time parents spend with their children as “parenting time,” rather than “visitation.” This acknowledges the importance of each parent’s role, regardless of whether a child spends nearly equal time with each parent or lives with one parent most of the time. Whatever your child custody arrangement, there will be various options available for structuring parenting time. If you and your child’s other parent already have a decision about the basic form of child custody you will be following, the New Jersey family law attorneys at Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group, LLC can help you craft a sensible New Jersey parenting plan designed to meet the needs of your family both now and well into the future. Find out about parenting time arrangements.
Modifications to Custody, Visitation or Parenting Time
Change in life is constant. Children grow and mature. Jobs come and go. As time goes on, it is very common for families to need modifications in their New Jersey child custody and visitation arrangements. Parents who agree on changes can create a consent order outlining the new terms. If only one parent wishes to make a change, a modification will require a court motion demonstrating a substantial change in circumstances. Learn more about your child custody modifications options, including going to court.
Complex Child Custody Issues
Certain personal situations may make your child custody case more complex. Some of the child custody issues listed below may be more sensitive in nature and require special attention. It is always best to understand early on in your case if these matters may affect your child custody, parental and visitation rights:
A parent who wishes to relocate a child out of the State of New Jersey must obtain consent either from the other parent or from the court. How New Jersey courts review relocation depends on what kind of custody arrangements already exist. Find out about relocating out of state with a child.
When one parent has persistently interfered with the other parent’s custody or parenting time, parental alienation is a concern and may call for court intervention. Learn about parental alienation.
Even the threat of parental kidnapping requires intervention, beginning with an immediate consultation with a knowledgeable family law attorney. When one parent takes a child out of the country without the consent of the other parent, international kidnapping becomes a critical concern.
In the State of New Jersey, if the birth parents are unable to care for their child, a relative or friend of the family who has been the child’s caretaker for at least 12 months may petition the courts for appointment as a kinship legal guardian with primary legal custody.
Children with special needs
Children with special needs, particularly those revolving around education or medical issues, often require unique parenting plans and an individualized analysis of child support factors.
Your Family’s Bright Future
You and your family are going through a difficult time right now. We understand — and we can help. Our highly skilled and experienced family law attorneys have the compassion and mastery you need to bring about positive results that will safeguard your children and protect your relationships with them.
Do you have questions about child custody? Not sure about parenting time? Trying to change an existing custody order? Schedule an initial consultation with a family law attorney to help secure your family’s future.
So let’s talk! Call us now at (855) 993-3858 to schedule a meeting with an experienced family law attorney. Your peace of mind is priceless.