Reach out to a Child Custody Lawyer in New Jersey
There are perhaps no cases where emotions have the potential to run higher than in an intense child custody dispute.
As a parent, nothing should come in between you and your relationship with your child. Unfortunately, asserting and protecting your parental rights can be a challenging, frustrating process.
You might be currently involved in a complex child custody/visitation dispute.
Or you may believe that your custody/visitation rights are being violated.
If so, it crucial that you seek professional legal representation as soon as possible.
Family lawyer Jordan B. Rickards offers compassionate, aggressive legal representation to parents throughout Central New Jersey. Our legal team fully understands how challenging and sensitive these types of cases can be. We also know that every detail matters in a child custody cases. When we take on a family law client, we promise them that their case will always receive the personalized attention that it deserves. There are no exceptions. Every New Jersey child custody/visitation case has different circumstances. We understand this and will do whatever is necessary to get you the best results for you and your family.
The Types of Child Custody and Visitation Cases We Handle in New Jersey
At The Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards, our family law team handles the full range of New Jersey child custody and child visitation cases. We have seen all types of cases, from fierce disputes following a difficult divorce to two parents attempting to work collaboratively to find a visitation schedule through family law mediation. Regardless of the specific nature of your family law case, our legal team is here to help. Some examples of child custody/visitation and related cases that we frequently handle include:
- Child custody disputes;
- Child visitation cases;
- Parental alienation claims;
- Alleged interference with custody and visitation rights;
- Child support issues;
- Modifications of child custody;
- Modification of visitation schedules;
- Child custody-related contempt of court cases; and
- Termination of parental rights.
New Jersey Operates Under the Best Interests of the Child Standard
Under New Jersey law, family courts decide child custody cases under the state’s ‘best interests of the child’ legal standard. The primary thing that New Jersey courts will consider when dealing with custody cases is what is best for the child’s overall wellbeing. In other words, the needs and desires of the parents will always be a secondary consideration. Courts want to find a custody/visitation arrangement that will be best for the child. This is true even if that arrangement is somewhat of an inconvenience for one or both of the parents.
In making a child custody decision, New Jersey family law courts consider a wide range of factors. Though, under N.J.S.A. 9:2-4(c), there are certain factors the Court must review and consider in every single custody case. The mandatory factors include the following:
- Each parent’s willingness to accept custody;
- Willingness of the parents to work cooperatively during custody and visitation issues to build the best atmosphere for the child;
- Past interaction and relationship that the child has had with each parent;
- The overall fitness and demonstrated parenting ability of each party;
- The stability of the home environment each parent is currently able to offer;
- Any history or allegations of abuse or misconduct; and
- When they are old enough and mature enough, the preferences of the child.
In addition, a New Jersey family court reviews any other factors that it deems to be material in deciding which custody arrangement is best for the child’s safety, emotional health, and development.
Courts Favor Joint Custody, But Sole Custody Is an Option
New Jersey courts presume that it is in the child’s best interests to have a relationship with both parents. Family law judges want to award some version of shared custody. However, this is certainly a rebuttable presumption. Courts will not rule that parents hsould share custody automatically. While the State favors joint custody, Courts can and will grant sole custody if the arrangement is in the best interests of the child. If you seek sole custody, you need to work with a skilled New Jersey child custody lawyer who can help you build a case to show good cause for such an arrangement.
Protect Your Parental Rights: Every Detail Matters
The key to prevailing in a child custody case is all in the details. To get their preferred custody arrangement, parents must be able to prove to the court that such an arrangement is best for the child. For this and other reasons, parents should get an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney by their side as early on as possible in the legal process.
Your lawyer will be able to help you put together the most compelling possible case, in order to prove to the court that your custody proposal is truly best for your kids. Custody/visitation cases always required individualized attention. These are highly fact-specific and detailed cases. In some cases, the smallest of details can have a dramatic effect on the result. Parents should hire a New Jersey family law attorney who will put the time and energy necessary to build the best case.
Child Custody/Visitation Cases Do Not End With the Final Court Order/Agreement
If you have finally resolved your child custody case, you may be feeling a deep sense of relief. This is normal; it is a good feeling to regain a sense of stability. Still, it is important to recognize that child custody/visitation cases do not truly end with a court order or a court approved parenting agreement. Until your child is no longer your dependent, the case could end up back in the courtroom.
Both parents must abide by the terms of the court order or custody agreement. Unfortunately, that does not always occur. Parents sometimes must take action to protect their rights and to get their former partner to actually follow the custody order or visitation schedule. In other cases, your child custody case may reopen because it no longer works anymore. When there has been a substantial change in circumstances, such as a parental relocation, a child custody modification may be appropriate.
Parents must always remain vigilant. If your custody case has been resolved, but you are now dealing with a new issue, you need to be ready to take additional action to protect your parental rights and the wellbeing of your child. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney who can help you resolve any outstanding custody/visitation issues.
How to Hire the Best New Jersey Child Custody Lawyer
1. Find a Compassionate New Jersey Child Custody Attorney
Child custody cases are extremely sensitive. Our compassionate New Jersey child custody lawyer understands how difficult going through this type of dispute can be. You need to find a lawyer who is the right ‘fit’ for you and your personality. A lawyer that can work well with you, and who will take the time to fully understands your problems, your needs and your goals, is one who can help you find the best solution.
2. Look for an Attorney Who Will Offer Personalized Attention
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to child custody cases. With custody and visitation issues, New Jersey parents need a family law attorney who is going to offer them the time and attention that their case deserves. In some cases, you must fight child custody/visitation disputes must aggressively. You need to take strong action to protect the health and wellbeing of the kids. In other cases, the best solution is for the parents to sit down and work together to find a mutually agreeable arrangement. Parties should focus on one that actually works. It should help set up the best structure and environment for the child. When possible, preserving a familial relationship is important. Ultimately, the best New Jersey child custody attorney is one who will take the time to find the right approach for your individual situation.
3. You Need a Trial-Tested New Jersey Child Custody Lawyer
Parties will often reach a settlement before going to Court. Still, plenty of child custody and visitation cases do go before a judge. As a parent, it is crucial that you a lawyer who has extensive courtroom experience represent you. With a background as both a Middlesex County prosecutor and defense attorney, Jordan B. Rickards is truly a trial-tested lawyer. In a heated child custody dispute, he has the skills and experience needed to protect your parental rights.
Get Help From Our New Jersey Child Custody Attorney Today
If you are currently involved in any type of child custody dispute, we can help.
To set up a family law consultation, please do not hesitate to reach out to our law firm today. With an office in Milltown, we represent parents and families throughout Central New Jersey, including in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, and Somerset County.