Child custody and parenting time issues can be among the most complicated and potentially contentious parts of any New Jersey family law matter.
A parent’s relationship with a child is priceless and must be preserved. Whenever our client’s spouse decides to use child custody as a pawn in a divorce case, our firm moves aggressively to protect the rights of the parent and to protect the emotional health and well-being of a child. We understand it’s personal. And we have the knowledge, experience and resources to handle even the most contentious New Jersey child custody cases.
Whenever there may be a child custody or parenting time problem, it is important to consult with a good New Jersey family law firm as soon as possible. Here are three of the questions that we are often asked:
In New Jersey, can my child decide which parent he or she wishes to live with?
Although the decision is never solely up to the child, one of the factors to be taken into consideration under New Jersey child custody law is the preference of the child “when of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent decision.” What is a “sufficient” age? It will vary in each case, but once a child reaches 14 years old, his or her wishes are almost always considered.
At the same time, as experienced New Jersey custody lawyers, we understand that a child can be improperly influenced by one of the parents, and we do not hesitate to bring that to the attention of the court. In such cases, it is important to have a custody evaluation by a qualified mental health professional, and to insist that the court interview the child outside the presence of either parent.
Can my ex move out of the State of New Jersey with our children?
In our increasingly mobile society, relocation of the custodial parent with the parties’ children outside the State of New Jersey has become a much more common occurrence and raises serious issues about the ability of the non-custodial parent to maintain his/her relationship with the children. Your attorneys must understand the law and move aggressively to protect your rights at every stage of the proceedings.
In New Jersey, a custodial parent cannot move out of state without the consent of the non-custodial parent. If the non-custodial parent will not consent, the custodial parent must file a formal Motion with the court and obtain an Order authorizing the move. Otherwise, the custodial parent is subject to sanctions, which can include a change of custody. It is crucial that you retain a New Jersey child custody law firm which has handled several out of state relocation cases and knows exactly what you must prove to win.
In New Jersey, do grandparents have the right to visitation with their grandchildren?
This is another area of New Jersey child custody and parenting time law that has seen significant litigation in recent years. There is a separate Grandparent Visitation Statute in New Jersey. If the parent objects to the grandparent visitation, the grandparents must file a Complaint with the court and must prove that such visitation is “necessary to avoid harm to the child.” This may require the retention of an expert to perform an evaluation. It may also necessitate a plenary hearing, at which each of the parties must testify in court and be subject to cross examination. Therefore, it is extremely important to have an experienced New Jersey family law firm on your side.
If you would like to set up a personal and confidential appointment, call us at (973) 455-1220 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.