In my vast experience as a child custody lawyer in East Brunswick, New Jersey, I am well aware that only in rare cases will a judge give one parent sole legal custody. The attorneys at my law firm all understand the factors that a judge of a New Jersey Family Court shall consider include the ability of the parents to communicate, cooperate, and agree in matters concerning the child; the willingness of the parents’ to accept custody; the child’s relationship and interaction between the child and his or her parents or siblings; any history of domestic violence; the child’s preference, as long as that child is of sufficient age and capacity to reason to make an intelligent decision; the child’s needs; the stability of the offered home environment; of the quality of education; the parents’ fitness; the quality and extent of the child’s time spent with the parent before separation; the employment responsibilities of the parents; and the age and amount of children.
When practicing family law here in New Jersey, one of the most fact sensitive areas for an attorney to handle is a child custody case. Very early on during into the case, our lawyers are sure to prepare our clients for the types of questions they shall face not only in a child custody plenary hearing (i.e., trial), but even before the trial begins. Your lawyer should advise you that the first round of questions come in the form of “Child Custody Interrogatories.” If you are potentially facing a child custody dispute here in New Jersey, my experience as a family law attorney dictates that you should familiarize yourself with the following questions so that you are prepared in case you end of in a New Jersey Family Court.
In most New Jersey child custody situations, the non-custodial parent (also know as the “Parent of Alternative Residence”) enjoys parenting time. Typically I have found as a child custody and divorce lawyer that the only time that the non-custodial parent does not have parenting time is when it would not be in the best interests of the child. Usually, this means that the non-custodial parent suffers from a substance abuse problem or has a history of gross negligence of the child when in their care.
This legal document, which is a court order of the Family Part, of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is essential in any child custody case. For example, even if the child custody expert selected for you by your lawyer were to recommend that you should be the parent of primary residence, a Consent Order stating that you have nevertheless agreed to allow the other parent o be the primary parent would prevail absent your attorney showing a major change of circumstances since the Consent Order was entered into by a New Jersey Family Court. [Read more…] about How Important Is A Consent Order In A N.J. Child Custody Case?
Pursuant to the New Jersey Parenting Coordinator Pilot Program Guidelines, a parenting coordinator is “a qualified neutral person appointed by the court, or agreed to by the parties, to facilitate the resolution of day to day parenting issues that frequently arise within the context of family life when parties are separated.” The court will usually appoint a parenting coordinator in cases where kids are minors and their parents are incapable of sticking to their original child custody and parenting time agreement. As a New Jersey divorce lawyer, I frequently refer to the case of Shakoor v. Mohammadi to help explain how this works.
A Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”) may be appointed to represent the best interests of the child in child custody or divorce proceedings. The lawyers at our law firm have not only handled many cases involving Guardian ad Litem’s, but have also had the honor of being appointed by judges of the Superior Court of New Jersey to acts as GAL’s in other child custody cases. The primary goal of the GAL is to perform investigations neutrally and make recommendations to the judge regarding what outcome would best serve the child. Either parent may request a GAL, or the court may decide to appoint one. As an experienced child custody attorney, I found this case to provide a nice explanation. [Read more…] about What Does A Guardian ad Litem Do In A New Jersey Child Custody Case?