Parenting Time and Visitation Attorneys in Bergen County, NJ
Types of Visitation & Child Custody Options for NJ Parents
Child custody is used to refer to both the physical and legal custody of a child in New Jersey. Physical custody determines where the child will primarily reside, and legal custody determines the authority to make important decisions about the child’s welfare such as education and medical decisions.
Parenting time, on the other hand, sometimes referred to as “visitation”, is the term used to describe the time that non-custodial parents will spend with, and care for, their children. These two issues are handled separately during and after divorce, and it is important to remember that family courts are of the belief that children should spend as much time as possible with both of their parents after divorce, so regardless of the agreements reached in terms of physical and legal custody, parents should expect to more or less share parenting time and visitation with their children after a divorce.
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our experienced family law and divorce attorneys have an intimate understanding of child custody and visitation laws and how they apply to any potential situation you may be facing. We are prepared to help you reach the desired parental arrangements which work best for you and your family’s unique needs and situation. Contact our office to discuss your unique needs and concerns when it comes to any kind of child custody or parenting time issue you may be facing in a free and confidential consultation with our legal team today.
Parenting Time, Visitation, and Child Custody
In New Jersey, “parenting time” and “visitation” are identical terms. However, the term “visitation” has been largely removed from legal vernacular, as it falsely implies that the parent is merely visiting the child, rather than caring for the child as a parent. For this reason, the New Jersey courts and our attorneys choose to use the term “parenting time”.
Child Custody is the determination of which parent or parents will have physical and legal custody over the child, and is further divided between “joint” or “shared” custody, and “sole” custody. Again, it is important to remember that even if a parent is granted full legal and physical custody of a child, they will most likely still share parenting time of that child with their former spouse.
The primary impact of the designations of the sole and joint physical child custody is mainly determining how much child support each parent is expected to contribute towards their child’s needs. Therefore, it is important that you discuss with your attorney not only your needs in terms of parenting time and custody of your children, but also how that agreement can and will affect your child support agreement.
Child Visitation Lawyers Discuss How Visitation is Determined
Whether you are working with your visitation lawyer through litigation, mediation, arbitration, or collaborative conflict resolution, parenting time determinations are made with many of the same or similar factors as child custody decisions, those factors being:
- The child’s best interest. This can range from being able to care for a child’s special needs, the safety of the child, and the ability to care for the child’s emotional needs
- Preference of the child if he or she is old enough and of the right mind to make an informed decision
- Convenience, in terms of location, schedule, etc.
- The current relationship between parents and children
- Complicating factors such as alcohol or drug problems, domestic abuse, and overall ability to be a fit and responsible parent
Of course, while courts will consider all of these factors when making any decision regarding a parent’s rights to visitation with their child, having an experienced attorney on your side can help you to present compelling arguments for whatever visitation agreement you think makes the most sense for you and your children.
Visitation Attorneys Explore Parenting Time Options
When it comes to child visitation, there are several potential types of visitation that may be awarded depending on the circumstances, and how the court believes those circumstances affect the best interest of your children.
Unsupervised Visitation – If a parent can provide a safe and healthy environment for their child, unsupervised visitation is the preferred option.
Supervised Visitation – Supervised visitation may be an option for parents with previous issues including alcohol or drug abuse, violent behavior, or for parents who are not currently able to provide a safe and secure environment for their children.
Denied Visitation – While family courts believe that children should spend as much time as possible with each of their parents, in extreme situations courts may deny visitation entirely. Conversely, some parents may act illegally by denying visitation of their children with the other parent, at which point the parent whose visitation rights are being denied may want to contact our firm and discuss their options for child custody and visitation enforcement.
Contact our Hackensack Child Custody and Visitation Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping parents to resolve all manner of child custody and visitation issues both during and after divorce. Whether you are going through a divorce, wish to relocate with your children, facing a child custody modification issue, or are being denied your parental rights by a former spouse or partner, you can feel secure leaning on the experience, knowledge, and attentive legal service of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark to ensure the best possible outcome. Our partners have been recognized as Certified Matrimonial Law Attorneys by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, a distinction held by only 2 percent of practicing lawyers in the state. We will work with you on a personal level, keeping you informed and involved throughout the legal process and help you to successfully resolve your parenting time dispute and protect your rights as a parent. To speak with our attorney team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding any kind of child custody or child visitation issue you may be facing, contact our firm.