Child custody and parenting time decisions are among the most emotional and contested issues that must be resolved when a relationship ends. New Jersey courts generally encourage both parents to remain actively involved in a child's life whether they were married or not.
The court acts in the child's best interest when it designates both physical custody — where the child will live — and legal custody, which determines who will make decisions for the child regarding education, health care, religion and other issues. Parents who wish to share responsibilities equally can request joint legal and physical custody. The court may award sole custody if circumstances warrant it.
As with most aspects of family law, it is beneficial if both parties can agree to terms regarding child custody without litigation. The experienced family law attorneys at Schepisi & McLaughlin, P.A., in Englewood Cliffs have a strong track record of helping clients successfully resolve these issues outside of the courtroom.
Our attorneys can act as parenting coordinators for families that need assistance with various custody and visitation issues. As such, they are court-approved to facilitate the resolution of daily parenting issues that arise within the context of family life when parents are separated.
Innovative Strategies Tailored To Your Needs
We will carefully review your family's situation and learn your goals regarding child custody before creating a strategy to achieve those objectives. If your child's other parent will have primary physical custody, we will help you develop a parenting time schedule that will ensure your relationship with your child remains a strong one.
If an agreement cannot be reached through negotiations or mediation, we will advocate aggressively for you in court.
New Jersey courts consider a number of factors when deciding child custody matters, including:
- The fitness of each parent
- The needs of the child, including education
- Each parent's engagement with the child during the marriage and following a separation
- Any history of domestic violence
Each parent's willingness to communicate and cooperate in child matters with the other parent
- The preference of the child if the court determines the child is old enough and mature enough to form an intelligent decision
Modifications And Enforcement
A parent may request a modification to an original custody agreement if there is a substantial change in circumstances. This could include prolonged health issues for a parent or a child, a relocation or evidence that a parent is abusing drugs or alcohol in the child's presence.
If your child's other parent is not following terms of a child custody or a child support order, we will help you take appropriate steps to enforce that order.
Call us or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with our experienced child custody lawyers. We represent clients in Bergen County and throughout northern New Jersey.