Child custody arrangements are among the most contentious issues in divorce proceedings. Protect your rights while advancing the best interests of your loved ones by working with a child custody lawyer at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman. Led by veteran NY & NJ family lawyer Paul Goldhamer, our legal team helps New York and New Jersey parents find agreeable resolutions to difficult child custody and visitation matters.
We understand the serious nature of custody arrangements, which will ultimately help shape the health, safety and emotional well-being of the child. KGG attorneys work tirelessly to create positive solutions designed to benefit the child and the family as a unit. We also recognize the advantages of having both parents involved in the raising of their children. Toward that end, we aim for equitable arrangements that allow co-parenting whenever possible.
Child custody lawyers serving Bergen & Rockland County families since 1975
Our attorneys specialize in family law, and work hard to negotiate a child custody arrangement that is satisfactory to both parents. However, if this strategy fails, we are prepared to litigate before a judge at trial.
As respected child custody lawyers serving Bergen County and Rockland County since 1975, we offer zealous advocacy for married clients, non-married couples with children, and also support the rights of grandparents seeking child visitation.
Advancing the best interest of the child
New Jersey and New York courts make child custody and visitation decisions based on the “best interests of the child.” In both states the child’s health and safety are of paramount concern. New Jersey child custody laws favor the concept of preserving the family unit with children maintaining strong relationships with both parents. In fact, less than five percent of NJ child custody cases end in sole custody.
When New York and New Jersey parents are unable to resolve custody disputes amicably on their own, and the case goes before the courts, the judge will consider the following elements when determining the best interest of the child:
- Mental and physical health of the parents and child
- If the child has any special needs
- The age of the child
- If there are allegations of domestic violence
- Parents’ employment responsibilities and work schedules
- The child’s parental preference, depending on his or her age
- Stability of each parent’s home environment
- The quality of the child’s relationships with both parents and other members of the family
- The level of cooperation between parents in making major decisions for the child
- The geographical distance between both parents’ residences
Disagreements over child custody and parental visitation rights are often complicated further by accusations of domestic violence in the home. Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman child custody attorneys can pursue an order of protection for you and your children. We can also defend you against false allegations of domestic abuse and protect your parental rights.
Child custody laws in New York & New Jersey
Because no two divorces are the same, your child custody arrangement and parental visitation schedule will be unique to your situation. Many facets of your child’s future care are up for negotiation during divorce proceedings, when issues of legal custody and physical custody are decided.
Legal custody refers to the right to make all decisions in regards to the care and upbringing of the child. This includes what type of education and medical care the child receives, as well as what religion the child is exposed to. In many cases, New Jersey and New York courts favor joint legal custody, enabling both parents to share in this decision-making process. Depending on the circumstances, legal custody may be awarded to one parent or both.
Physical custody refers to where the child lives. With this responsibility, parents must provide adequate physical needs (shelter, food, transportation, etc). Physical custody can be split between both parents, but this is generally reserved for those who live relatively close to one another.
The most common arrangement is for the parents to share a joint custody arrangement. In this case, “joint” does not mean equal, but rather that both parents share in the child raising responsibilities. On the other hand, a parent who is awarded sole custody is charged with the care of the child, including making major decisions regarding their upbringing. However, NJ courts will grant appropriate visitation rights to the non-custodial parent — this “visitation” is also known as “parenting time.” This is a predetermined schedule that allows the child to spend time with the non-custodial parent, or even grandparent in some cases. In addition to regular weekday and weekend visits, the agreement must also consider vacations, holidays and other special occasions to achieve fairness.
If you live in New Jersey or New York and have questions about child custody and visitation rights, don’t hesitate to reach out to Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman for sound legal advice. Child custody lawyer Paul Goldhamer and his talented team of divorce attorneys offer superior advocacy in a wide range of complicated matters.
Child Custody Enforcement and Modification
If one parent is failing to live up to their custody obligations, it may be necessary to seek a contempt or enforcement order to protect your custody and visitation rights. It is unacceptable for a parent to disobey orders of court, particularly when involving children.
In other situations, you may require a child custody modification if circumstances have substantially changed since the initial order was entered. A substantial change in lifestyle may make a post-divorce modification of custody and visitation schedules necessary.
If one parent wishes to move with children, or if a parent disagrees with such a request, a parental relocation order may be necessary. Any divorced parent or unmarried parent with a child custody order must consult with a qualified family law attorney before moving with children, as moving without leave from the court may violate the custody order.
Parents who violate court orders risk losing custody and visitation rights to their children.
Child Custody Attorneys Serving Bergen County & Rockland County
At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, we work hard to earn your trust, and we have a track record of positive results in complicated family law matters. If you are seeking effective custody representation in Bergen County, NJ, Rockland County, NY, or the surrounding communities, contact a child custody lawyer at KGG for a private consultation.
Additional Resources on “Child Custody & Visitation”:
- NYCourts.gov, Custody/Visitation Hearing https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/family/custodyHearing.shtml
- Justia, 2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes Title 9 – CHILDREN–JUVENILE AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS COURTS http://law.justia.com/codes/new-jersey/2013/title-9
- Uniform Law Commission, Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Summary
Understanding Child Custody Visitation
When it comes to child custody visitation, the attorneys at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. understand just how high emotions can be. After all, this issue involves clients’ children and how their future parenting time will be. It is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship and ensuring the well-being of the child.
What are the different types of visitation?
There are various types of visitation arrangements that can be established, depending on the needs and circumstances of the child and parents. These may include:
- Scheduled visitation: Specific dates and times are set for the noncustodial parent to have parenting time with the child.
- Reasonable visitation: The noncustodial parent and custodial parent have flexibility in determining visitation times and dates based on mutual agreement.
- Supervised visitation: In cases where there are concerns about the safety or well-being of the child, visitation may occur under the supervision of a trusted adult or professional.
- Virtual visitation: With the advancement of technology, virtual visitation allows noncustodial parents to interact with their children via video calls, emails, or other digital means.
What does the “best interest of the child” mean?
The guiding principle in determining child custody and visitation is the best interests of the child doctrine. Courts consider factors such as the child’s age, emotional and physical well-being, relationship with each parent, stability of living arrangements, and any history of abuse or neglect. The goal is to promote the child’s safety, happiness, and healthy development.
What should parenting plans include?
A parenting plan is a court order that specifies the scheduled time that each parent will have with the child and other aspects of custody and parenting. It may include provisions regarding holidays, vacations, transportation, communication between parents, and decision-making responsibilities. Parenting plans provide clarity and help establish expectations for both parents.
Can custody orders be modified?
Visitation arrangements can be modified if there are significant changes in circumstances or if the existing arrangement no longer serves the best interests of the child. Common reasons for modifications include parental relocation, changes in work schedules, or the child’s changing needs. Additionally, visitation orders should be followed as required, and noncompliance can lead to enforcement actions by the court.
How important is communication to successful co-parenting?
Successful child custody visitation often depends on effective co-parenting and open communication between parents. Cooperation, respect, and flexibility are essential for ensuring a positive and stable environment for the child. Good communication between parents allows for sharing important information about the child’s well-being, school activities, medical needs, and any significant events.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer for Legal Help
Child custody and visitation is a critical part of post-divorce parenting. It provides noncustodial parents with the opportunity to maintain a meaningful and loving relationship with their children. By considering the best interests of the child, establishing clear visitation arrangements, and promoting effective co-parenting, parents can create an environment that supports the child’s emotional well-being and development. To learn more about child custody visitation rights, contact Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.
Child Custody Lawyer | FAQ
What factors does the court consider when determining child custody and visitation arrangements?
As you can learn more details from an experienced and understanding NY and NJ child custody visitation lawyer, there are many factors that the court considers when they determine child custody and visitation guidelines. Factors such as the child’s age, health, and emotional needs, each parent’s ability to provide a stable environment, and their willingness to cooperate in co-parenting are crucial. The court also assesses the child’s relationship with each parent and their extended family, as well as any history of abuse or neglect. Ultimately, the goal is to promote the child’s physical and emotional well-being, ensuring a safe and nurturing environment.
Can grandparents or other family members seek visitation rights?
However, the laws regarding third-party visitation rights vary widely, and it can be challenging to obtain such rights without the parents’ consent. Courts typically consider factors such as the prior relationship between the child and the petitioner, the parent’s objections to visitation, and the potential impact on the child’s well-being. As such, consulting an experienced child custody visitation lawyer is essential for understanding the specific laws and procedures in your jurisdiction. In many courts, the grandparents of both parents and other family members are often granted visitation rights as well if it is in line with the child’s best interests.
Can custody and visitation orders be modified?
Yes, custody and visitation orders can be modified under certain circumstances. Courts recognize that life circumstances change, and what was once suitable may no longer be applicable. To modify an existing order, the requesting party must demonstrate a significant change in circumstances that affects the child’s well-being. As a child custody and visitation lawyer can explain, this can also include a parent’s relocation to a different city, change in work schedules, or other problems that affect the child’s education. The court will assess whether the proposed modification is in the child’s best interests. A child custody visitation lawyer can help navigate the legal process and advocate for modifications, if appropriate.
Can I relocate to another state with my child after a custody order is in place?
Relocating to another state with your child after a custody order is in place is a complex matter. In most jurisdictions, a custodial parent seeking to move must obtain permission from the court or the other parent. The court will assess whether the relocation is in the child’s best interests by considering factors like the reason for the move, its potential impact on the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent, and the available support system in the new location. You should consult with an experienced lawyer if you have questions about your state laws and the procedures involving relocation.
What are supervised visitations, and when are they ordered?
Supervised visitations are court-ordered arrangements where a designated adult must be present during the parent-child visitation. This arrangement is usually put in place when there are concerns about the child’s safety or well-being while alone with the parent. Reasons for supervised visits may include a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, neglect, or other issues affecting the child’s welfare. The court aims to maintain the parent-child relationship while ensuring the child’s protection. The supervisor may be a social worker, family member, or a professional agency. Learn more about legal information by calling a skilled child custody and visitation lawyer at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. as soon as possible.