Child Custody and Parenting Time Modification
Helping Families Adjust to Changing Circumstances
One of the most difficult issues to decide during any Morris County divorce or dissolution of a legal relationship is that of child custody and parenting time. Every family is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution to these issues.
However, whatever decisions you ultimately reach will be based on the circumstances of your family at the time of the divorce, and when these circumstances change, it can become necessary to modify your existing child custody or parenting time arrangement.
The needs or preferences of a child can change, a parent may wish to relocate, or a parent’s work obligations can change in such a manner that either increases or decreases the time they have available to their family.
At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys have extensive experience helping families to adjust their child custody and parenting time agreements as the circumstances of the family change.
Contact our firm today to discuss your unique needs and concerns when it comes to a child custody modification in a confidential Strategic Planning Session.
Modifying a Child Custody Agreement
Child custody modifications can seek to modify legal custody of a child, physical custody, or both. The most important thing to keep in mind during any child custody and parenting time modification is that New Jersey courts will always put the best interests of your child or children first. This means that regardless of whatever your specific needs or concerns may be, the courts will only grant a modification request if it believes that the request is in-line with the best interests of the children involved.
That being said, there are two possible ways of modifying a child custody agreement in Morris County. This can either be by:
- Creating a Consent Order – You and your co-parent both sign a document attesting to your desire to modify your child custody agreement in the manner outlined in the document, and each give your consent to making this change legal and enforceable.
- Filing a Modification Motion with the Court – If both parents cannot agree on a child custody modification, one parent may file a motion with the courts to review your family’s situation, and potentially order a modification. We discuss the specific requirements for the success of such a motion in the section below.
Either way, it is important that you retain experienced legal counsel in order to ensure that any new agreement you enter into is fair to you, and properly accounts for you and your children’s changing situation.
Child Custody Modification Motions Attorneys
If you or your co-parent files a motion with the courts requesting a child custody modification, in order for this request to be successful, the petitioning party will need to demonstrate that certain circumstances have changed for your family permanently, and substantially.
Commonly cited changed circumstances during a child custody modification petition can be:
- The relocation of a parent
- A significant change in the work hours of a parent
- A significant change in the behavior or lifestyle of a parent such as drug or substance abuse, or a mental or physical illness
If the court finds that there are indeed permanent and substantial changed circumstances which warrant a child custody modification, they will make their ultimate ruling in much the same way they do during any divorce child custody dispute. They will weigh the various needs of the child (financial, educational, emotional, etc), their relationship with both parents, the relationship of the parents themselves, and any other factors relevant to the best interests of the child or children in question.
Contact Our Child Custody Modification Attorneys Today
Whether you are pursuing a child custody modification through a mutual consent order, or need to file or contest a child custody modification motion in the courts, the attorneys of Jacobs Berger are ready to provide you with effective, constructive, and attentive legal representation.
With extensive experience resolving family law and child custody matters of all kinds for families across Madison, Randolph, Tewksbury, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area, our firm is prepared to provide you with the legal service and guidance you need throughout the child custody modification process.
To speak with our firm today in a confidential Strategic Planning Session regarding your child custody modification needs and concerns, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 710-4366.