Contested Divorce With Children

Family Law Attorney Helping Parents in Bergen County and Surrounding Areas

A contested divorce with children presents challenges to divorcing spouses beyond sorting out the interpersonal and financial consequences of the dissolution of their marriage. While coming to agreements concerning child custody and visitation and related issues can minimize third-party intervention in delicate family matters, this is not always possible. It is important to understand your rights, those of your child’s other parent, and those of children under New Jersey law because the effects of court orders on family law matters have an impact in the short and long term. Bergen County contested divorce lawyer Howard B. Leopold can assist you. Leopold Law offers advice and representation to residents of communities throughout Northern New Jersey. We are dedicated to working with you to develop a strategy tailored to the circumstances of your family.

Contested Divorce with Children in New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, child custody and visitation issues are addressed as part of divorce proceedings. When the parents of a child did not marry each other and have parted ways, they can also avail themselves of judicial child custody proceedings. Parents, whether married, separated, or divorced, typically have ongoing duties with respect to the care and upbringing of their children, and the law encourages them to work together toward an arrangement that satisfies the best interests of the child standard.

In some cases, parents can agree on child custody and visitation issues. Child custody issues include physical custody and legal custody. The terminology sometimes confuses parents who are separating or divorcing. The parent with physical custody is the parent who lives in the place where the child is to spend the majority of their time. Legal custody issues are less straightforward. For example, they include major medical, educational, and religious matters affecting a child’s care and upbringing. Physical custody and legal custody can be sole or joint, with joint custody arrangements being more common in New Jersey.

Courts typically enter temporary orders during the course of proceedings before there is a final custody and visitation order. This is to provide stability to children. Parents are encouraged to work together to fulfill their parenting duties. Court orders can be revisited and modified when there is cause, such as a significant change in circumstances. When child custody matters are major issues in a divorce, courts tend to try to facilitate an agreement by referring parents to mediation. In some cases, there is an investigation by a neutral party, who is to issue a report making recommendations about custody arrangements. Judges can, when they deem it appropriate, speak with a child privately. Ultimately, the role of the judge is to order child custody and visitation arrangements that are in the best interests of the child.

When these matters proceed to trial, the court presiding will make a written order based on the arguments and evidence presented, including testimony. Presenting child custody and visitation-related matters in a contested divorce with children requires knowledge of the law and the development of a factual record. Assistance from an experienced divorce attorney in navigating the process can be very helpful in achieving satisfactory results.

Seek Guidance from a Bergen County Attorney During a Contested Divorce

Whether you and the other parent of your child are working out child custody and visitation arrangements amicably or not, it is important that you understand how these matters are determined by courts. If you have questions about a separation or contested divorce with or without children, call us at (201) 345-5907 for a free consultation or use our online form to schedule an appointment with a Bergen County lawyer. Howard B. Leopold can provide legal counsel before, during, and after separation and divorce proceedings. Leopold Law can guide people throughout Bergen, Essex, Passaic, and Hudson Counties, including in Hackensack, Englewood, Fort Lee, Franklin Lakes, Garfield, Glen Rock, Hasbrouck Heights, Hillsdale, Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, Dumont, Ramsey, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood, Edgewater, Elmwood Park, Fair Lawn, Fairview, Little Ferry, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, New Milford, North Arlington, Oakland, Palisades Park, Paramus, River Edge, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Tenafly, Wallington, Westwood, Wyckoff, Jersey City, Paterson, and Newark.

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