Today, around 39% of U.S. marriages end in divorce, but New Jersey is among the states with the highest rate of divorce. While this situation can be difficult for anyone, it inevitably becomes more challenging when children are involved.
If you share children with another person, and the relationship dissolves, it might be your greatest hope to resolve things amicably and avoid having to spend resources on a contentious court case. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible in every situation. If any of the following signs sound familiar to you, it’s within your best interests — and the best interests of your children — to hire a child custody lawyer in NJ you can trust.
Your Visitation Rights Are Being Disrupted
Whether or not you have a formal visitation agreement in place, it’s likely that your ex can’t simply decide to restrict or cancel the time you’re allowed to spend with your children. If your contact with your kids is being limited or visits with them are being canceled without warning by your co-parent, this is an issue that requires help from a qualified attorney.
While some parents believe they can restrict access between their ex and their children due to unpaid child support or even change custody arrangements due to COVID-19, these actions may not be legal. If you’re unable to reach an agreement with your former spouse and you want to ensure your visitation rights remain intact, it’s a good idea to discuss your options with a child custody lawyer.
Your Ex Has Plans to Move Out of State
When you and your ex were still married or together, you would expect them to discuss major life changes with you before reaching an agreement. But once you’re divorced, you won’t get much say in what your ex does.
That may not apply to their plans to move out-of-state, however. Some parents assume they can simply move to a different state (perhaps in order to make shared custody more difficult) with their children.
If this is a scenario you’re facing and you’re worried about losing time with your children, you’ll want to consult with an attorney. In most cases, one parent will require express permission from the court to move out of the state. While there is a chance that permission will be granted, you deserve every chance to ensure you can continue seeing your children and that decisions regarding their upbringing won’t be unilateral.
You’re Worried Your Children Are In Danger
Most child custody cases involve rather innocuous (albeit frustrating) issues regarding educational or medical decisions, monetary support, or shared time. In more extreme situations, however, you might be worried about the safety of the environment in which your children are spending time with your ex.
Whether you’re concerned that your former spouse isn’t mentally stable enough to provide proper care for your kids or you have evidence that your ex is abusive, dealing with substance use issues, or could otherwise pose a danger to your family, you need to take action to ensure your children come first. A child custody attorney can evaluate the situation and guide you through the proper steps, which could include filing for a restraining order or going to court to have a judge re-evaluate the existing arrangement you have in place.
An attorney with ample experience in family law issues pertaining to child custody can help to protect your rights as a parent, as well as the well-being of your children. For more information on how we can provide you with the support your family deserves, please contact our firm today.