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How Does Child Visitation Work After a Divorce in New Jersey?

The matter of divorce can often become very sensitive when the spouses are parents. This is because it not only calls into question issues of the relationship, but what to do moving forward regarding their children. This includes child custody and child support. All parents want to be close and spend time with their children. However, custody rights can make this difficult. It is because of this that parents may find themselves fighting for visitation rights. When facing these situations, it is important to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney for assistance. 

What is the Difference Between Joint and Sole Custody?

Determining the custody of a child can be difficult. Sometimes, it puts parents in a position they do not want to be in. This is because there are different types of custody that do not always give parents what they want. Usually, the court wants both parents to be present and involved in their child’s life. It is because of this that they tend to award joint custody when they can. This allows parents to share their time equally with their child and both be involved in parenting decisions.

However, when the court believes that a parent is unable to perform their duties, they may grant sole custody to the other parent. This means that the individual with sole custody has both physical and legal custody of the child. With this, the child lives with them and they make all decisions regarding the upbringing of their child. It is important to know that, in these situations, the court still allows visitation rights. This allows the parent without custody rights to have scheduled visits as long as they can prove to have a positive and consistent relationship with the child. 

How is Visitation Time Determined?

In order for the court to determine the amount of visitation time a parent may have, they consider the following factors:

  • The overall parental fitness
  • If the parent has a history of alcohol or drug abuse
  • If the parent was convicted of domestic abuse
  • The safety and needs of the child (physical and emotional)
  • The child’s preference if they are old enough to make an informed decision
  • Convenience (the parent’s location, schedule, etc.)
  • The current relationship between the parent and child

Applying for Visitation

When a parent wishes to receive visitation rights, they must apply for them with the court. In the best cases, the court will award designated time with the child. However, it is important to know that when dealing with family law matters, the court always puts the best interest of the child at the forefront. This ensures the child has a happy and healthy upbringing. It is because of this that if the court believes time with one parent is not in their best interest, visitation rights may be denied. If denied visitation, it is important to contact an experienced attorney to fight for your parental rights.

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.