New Jersey Visitation Lawyer
Every parent has the right to be involved in their child’s life, a policy that is fiercely protected in the state of New Jersey. After a separation, emotions can run high and agreements over child custody and visitation schedules are often hard to reach. To ease the burden during this stressful time, it is best to hire a dedicated New Jersey visitation lawyer who is well-practiced in handling such legal matters. An experienced New Jersey visitation lawyer will help you reach a peaceful resolution while also keeping your child’s best interests in mind.
Child Custody Laws in New Jersey
In New Jersey, there are two types of child custody: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to which parent the child will live with, while legal custody concerns the parents’ roles in decision-making. There are a variety of factors that are taken into consideration, including the child’s age, relationship to each parent, the parents’ relationships with each other, and work schedules. If an agreement between the two parents cannot be reached, then child custody will be determined in court.
The court may award joint physical custody, which means that the child will split time living with both parents. In other cases, sole physical custody is granted to only one parent, while the noncustodial parent receives right to visitation. Oftentimes, the noncustodial parent will still receive joint legal custody, which allows them to remain a part of the child’s decision-making process growing up. This includes issues regarding school, religion, and medical care. In the rare case that a parent is granted sole legal custody of their child, they do not have to consult the other parent when it comes to major decisions.
To assist in this process, it is best to have an experienced New Jersey visitation lawyer on your side who specializes in child custody and visitation cases.
Types of Visitation
Similar to custody rights, visitation schedules in New Jersey are determined by what is best for the child. Visitation rights will only be denied in extreme situations in which one parent poses a significant threat to the child’s safety. Otherwise, the court will determine what type of visitation schedule is best suited for the child’s needs. There are three classifications of visitation: reasonable, fixed, and supervised.
1. Reasonable Visitation
Under reasonable visitation, there is no set schedule for the parents. Instead, they agree to split parenting time based on what is most rational. The court will accept any visitation agreement signed by both parents as long as it is in the best interest of the child involved. The best visitation schedule will be the one that best meets your child’s needs.
2. Fixed Visitation
Fixed visitation means that a fixed schedule is set in place to determine how parenting time will be split. Usually this occurs when one parent has full physical custody of the child and an agreement regarding visitation cannot be reached. The court will determine what type of schedule works best for the child. In this case, the noncustodial parent is only granted visitation on specific days for a fixed amount of time.
Parents can work with an attorney to negotiate a visitation schedule that is most appropriate. This will include what days of the week (and for how long) the noncustodial parent can have time with their child, while also covering plans for holidays and extended vacations.
3. Supervised Visitation
Because New Jersey laws protect a parent’s right to be a part of their child’s life, visitation can be granted even when issues of mental health and domestic abuse are present. Instances like this call for supervised visitation. This is a fixed parenting time for the noncustodial parent that is overseen by a third party in a neutral, safe environment.
Commonly, the third-party supervisor is a trained volunteer who is part of New Jersey’s Supervised Visitation Program. A close friend or family member can also be appointed. The goal of supervised visitation is to re-establish a loving, nurturing relationship between the child and noncustodial parent.
Several factors can result in court-ordered supervised visitation. These include but are not limited to: a history of substance abuse, mental health issues, recklessness, and domestic violence. However, you must still prove to the court that supervised visitation is necessary. A risk assessment can also be requested, in which the court will review what type of visitation schedule is best for the child. In situations like this, it is best to consult with an experienced New Jersey visitation lawyer who can mediate a peaceful negotiation.
Consult a New Jersey Visitation Lawyer Today
Cases involving child custody are complex, both legally and emotionally. A family law attorney specializing in visitation will help you construct a plan that is best for both sides. But more importantly, we will create a plan that works best for your child.
These types of legal proceedings are often a very contentious and sensitive time, so be sure to choose an experienced law office with a proven track record of cooperation and reaching peaceful settlements. If you or a family member is deadlocked in a custody dispute with no end in sight, contact us today for a free consultation. All families are different, and we will be sure to achieve what is best for yours.