Perhaps there is no more emotional type of litigation than that which involves child custody. Parental disagreements concerning health, education and religious upbringing can lead to frustrating custody battles. However, these strong opinions and supercharged emotions can sometimes lead to poor, heated decisions that can ultimately harm a custody case during a divorce. See below the top 4 costly mistakes to avoid in NJ Divorce child custody cases.
At Villani & DeLuca, P.C., we specialize in all aspects of family law and effectively represent mothers, fathers, grandparents and other interested parties in child custody controversies without putting children in the middle of the dispute. We are experienced NJ child custody lawyers and specialize in finding creative, legal solutions to your custody needs.
Mistake #1: Isolating the child from the other parent.
When NJ courts determine child custody in a divorce case, they factor in which parent is more likely to promote meaningful contact with the other parent. Preventing your spouse from seeing your children (in a normal situation) can have a negative impact on the outcome of the case although certain safety concerns, such as violence, drinking or drug abuse, do exist which is a different case all together.
Mistake #2: Changing the child's schedule suddenly.
A divorce is a disruptive, life-changing event. But when children are involved, every effort is made to minimize this disruption. If one parent decides to make a drastic decision by altering the child's environment without the consent of the other parent, this can be viewed poorly by the court and harm a custody case. When possible, our NJ child custody attorneys suggest mediation in order to achieve a parenting resolution that works best for both you and your child.
Mistake #3: Badmouthing the other parent.
No matter how frustrating the separation may seem, it is a bad idea to share negative things about the other parent with the child. If both parents are criticizing the other in front of the children, then the children may lose respect and end up acting out toward both parents. Any attempt to poison the child's relationship with the other parent and take emotional “sides” can not only have long-term impact on the child's well-being, but could also hurt the outcome of the child custody case.
Mistake #4: Taking the child out of state.
Whether planning a summer vacation or thinking about a move, it's important to understand all factors involving travel with children during a divorce processes. The court's primary concern is the best interest of a child and they take 12 factors into consideration when deciding to grant a move out of state. If you are seeking to leave New Jersey with your minor child, or if you are trying to prevent your ex-spouse from doing so, it is important to seek the counsel of an attorney experienced in New Jersey family law matters.
Who Receives Custody? (N.J.S.A. 9:2-4)
The New Jersey Statute: 9:2-4 declares that it is the public policy to assure minor children of frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage. It is in the public interest to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing in order to effect this policy. Courts will determine who receives child custody by reviewing factors such as:
• Interaction of the child with the parents and sibling
• Preference of the child (if 12 or older)
• Stability of the home
• Age and number of children
• Fitness of parents
• Parents' employment responsibilities
• History of any domestic violence
NJ Divorce Law: Child Custody
If you live in New Jersey, have minor children, and are considering a divorce, contact an attorney experienced in New Jersey family law. Vincent C. DeLuca of Villani & DeLuca, P.C., is one of a limited number of attorneys certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Attorney. Contact Villani & DeLuca now for a free, no obligation consultation at 732-709-7757.
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