It’s easier to get married than it is to get divorced. Once kids are involved, divorce becomes an even more complex and tedious undertaking. Divorced couples will have a lot of questions pertaining to child custody during and after a divorce, with the most common being:
1. Does a Parent Pay Child Support with Shared Custody?
Yes. Shared custody does result in less of a support obligation. The parent will be responsible for paying less child support. If the dependent parent is financially stable and doesn’t need child support, it’s possible for child support requirements to be nullified.
2. Can a Parent Refuse Visitation Rights?
Under normal circumstances, no. Parents are not allowed to modify visitation rights without being adjusted in court. While parents that are in an amicable divorce and still friendly often allow children to see the mother or father outside of the visitation period, this is not a requirement.
Furthermore, a parent cannot refuse visitation rights on the basis of child support not being paid.
If a parent is not allowing visitation rights to continue as stated by the court, a petition for contempt of court may be filed.
3. Can a Child Decide Whom to Live with?
Most judges will consider the wishes of the child, but this is just a consideration. The age of the child and credibility of the child will be a factor, too. Judges will need to review the desired parent’s current financial and living situation as well as other factors to make a decision that is in the best interest of the child.
4. Are Grandparents Granted Custody and Visitation Rights?
In some circumstances, yes. Under normal circumstances, no. Grandparents must provide proof that visitation is in the best interest of the child. Grandparents will have to prove this in court, the court will have a say in the matter.
Custody may be granted in the event that the child is in harm in the custody of his or her parents.
5. Can Custody Be Modified?
Child custody can be modified at any time. A change in circumstances or a change in the best interest of the child is all that is needed to request a child custody modification. In the event that the change is not agreed upon by both parents, you’ll need to have a trial scheduled to discuss the custody modification.
6. Can I Increase My Chances of a Custody Agreement?
The courts need to decide what is in the best interest of the child. Men and women alike can boost their likelihood of gaining custody by:
- Promoting the child’s best interests
- Remaining active in the child’s life
- Being involved in day-to-day activities
Child custody is not about the parent; child custody is about the best interests of the child.
New Jersey law dictates that both parents must be judged fairly and equally during custody determination. This indicates that mothers and fathers will both have a fair chance of custody. But the state also considers the “tender years’ doctrine.” If the child falls within “tender years,” the mother is often favored.
Tender years are considered age four and under, but may vary.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in family law and estates. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. Brad has a special expertise in working with child custody.You can read more on this topic by visiting our Child Custody & Support blog. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.