Monmouth County Family Law Involving Children
The law affects almost every aspect of our lives, from establishing how we should drive our cars; to dictating obscure things such as how much interest a person can be legally charged. The law also touches families in Monmouth County and throughout New Jersey, and specifically affects the lives of our children.
In most cases, the first time that a person becomes aware of family law is when they are going through a divorce. However, there are other areas of family law such as abuse and neglect, which can affect a family.Family Law Involving Children
There is a wide variety of family law matters that affect children, and a dedicated an experienced family law lawyer can help with all of the following issues:
- Child support
- Custody and visitation
- Child relocation
- Department of Child Protection and Permanency
- Enforcement of support and custody orders
- Family mediation
- Grandparents’ custody and visitation
- Parental rights
- Parenting Plans
- Paternity and fathers’ rights
- Parental terminations
Parents have an obligation to provide for their children. Parents who are going through a divorce or separation can choose to independently and privately reach an amount for child support or they can file a motion with the court seeking child support.
When the court is involved and is tasked with determining how much a parent should pay to the other in child support they will consider many factors and will look at the financial situation of both parents.
The court will apply the financial information a family provides them and will calculate a child support amount using the child support guidelines. However, a judge can deviate from these guidelines based on the following factors set forth in: N.J.S.A.2A:34-23(a).
- Needs of the child
- Standard of living and economic circumstances of each parent
- All sources of income and assets of each parent
- Earning ability of each parent
- Need and capacity of the child for education, including higher education
- Age and health of the child and each parent
- Income, assets and earning ability of the child
- Responsibility of the parents for the court-ordered support of others
- Reasonable debts and liabilities of each child and parent
- Any other factors the court may deem relevant
For those who are concerned that their child support amount is either too high or too low, or there is something that happens that changes a parent’s financial circumstances, the court can amend the child support guidelines and amounts to better reflect the needs of the child.Custody Considerations in Monmouth County
One of the most difficult parts of a divorce, and often a part of a divorce that is fiercely contested and litigated, is custody rights over a child. There are several different types of custody arrangements that a family can have in New Jersey.Joint Custody
Joint custody means that both parents have the legal authority to make important decisions about a child’s life. In most cases, there will be a parent who is the parent of primary residence and the other parent who is the parent of alternate residence.
These custodial arrangements mean that the parent of primary residence will have the child for a majority of the time, and the other parent will have visitation throughout the week.Shared Custody
This type of custody is similar to joint custody in that the parents both make legal decisions over the child, however, the parents share almost equal time with the child.Sole Custody
While it is rare, there are times that the court will grant one parent sole custody of a child, wherein the other parent will not have any legal authority over the child, and in some cases may not be permitted to have overnight visitation with the child.Child Abuse and Neglect
The New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) (which was formerly known as DYFS) was created to protect children from abuse and neglect, as well as to help families who may need support and services. DCPP will consider some of the following to constitute abuse or neglect.
- Failing to provide a safe environment for the child
- Inflicting or allowing physical abuse
- Inflicting or allowing emotional abuse
- Inflicting or allowing sexual abuse
- Placing the child at risk of harm
These cases can be very difficult for both the child and for the parents, and anyone who has been accused of child abuse or neglect should contact New Jersey family lawyer in Monmouth County to protect their children and their rights.