Child Custody/Parenting Time Modification
Child Custody/Parenting Time Modification Lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ
Compassionate Family Law Attorney Advocates to Obtain Child Custody and Parenting Time Modifications Throughout South Jersey
Finalizing child custody or parenting time agreements is never an easy feat—emotions tend to run high as each parent fights to obtain the maximum amount of parenting time possible with his or her children. In some cases, neither party may be fully satisfied with the arrangement, but a final child custody agreement does create a degree of stability for the children and, after all, child custody and parenting time arrangements are always premised on what is best for the child.
Despite this, life does continue to change after a child custody or parenting time arrangement has been finalized. Financial and employment circumstances change, as does the family dynamic as a whole as the children continue to grow. In many cases, pursuing a modification to an existing child custody or parenting time arrangement may be completely justified and even advantageous to the parents and children. In an ideal world, divorced or unmarried parents would simply agree to the best possible arrangement for the children. In reality, you need the advice and counsel of an experienced Cherry Hill child custody/parenting time modification lawyer to make sure any agreement is fair and enforceable. If you are considering a modification to a child custody or parenting time arrangement, contact my offices to schedule an appointment to discuss your case today.
Child Custody/Parenting Time Modifications in New Jersey
Child custody and parenting time arrangements are always developed with the best interests of the child as the primary consideration. The parents’ living arrangements, employment obligations, relationships, and familial ties are important factors that come into play when reaching a final agreement—and all of these factors are subject to change as time goes by.
In New Jersey, to promote stability for the child, a parent must show that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred to justify child custody/parenting time modifications. Substantial changes in circumstances can involve:
- An out-of-state relocation that is justified based upon employment or family,
- A significant change in one parent’s employment or working hours,
- Adverse changes in one parent’s behavior or activities, such as alcohol or drug abuse,
- Changes in the child’s educational circumstances that would justify a different custody schedule,
- Situations where one parent begins to live with another person who negatively influences the child,
- Illnesses or injuries suffered by one parent that impact his or her ability to care for the child,
- Illnesses or injuries to the child that justify a change in custody arrangements,
- Situations where child abuse is alleged,
- Situations where the child has expressed a justifiable preference for a modification to the arrangement.
Although these are some of the more common examples of situations that would justify child custody/parenting time modifications, an experienced family law attorney can help you evaluate your situation to determine whether modifying an existing arrangement may be possible. From a procedural standpoint, a modification to a child custody or parenting arrangement can be accomplished in one of two ways, as follows:
- Consensual agreement. If both parents agree to the modification, an attorney can draft a consent order that functions as a legal way to alter the existing agreement. The consent order will be approved by the court, and serve to ensure that the modified agreement is legally enforceable.
- Motion practice. If one party objects to the modification, or will presumably object, an attorney can file a motion with the New Jersey courts and obtain a judgment in order to modify the existing arrangement by showing that a substantial change in circumstances justifies the modification.
Life Changes. Skilled Child Custody Modification Lawyer Works Tirelessly to Ensure Your Arrangement Works for You.
In my practice, I have over 35 years’ worth of experience as a family lawyer in Cherry Hill, and put those skills to work to make sure that any child custody or parenting time arrangement continues to meet your needs as circumstances change over time. When something as important as time with your children is on the line, you need a reputable lawyer who you can trust to advocate on your behalf. I know that major life changes can make an existing child custody or parenting time agreement unworkable, and will fight to help you obtain a modification that reflects and supports your change in circumstances.
Schedule a Consultation With a Burlington County Child Custody/Parenting Time Modification Lawyer Today
If you wish to modify an existing child custody/parenting time arrangement, you need an experienced lawyer to help you through the process even if your relationship with your former spouse or partner is amicable. Contact my offices via phone, or by filling out this online form, to schedule a confidential consultation with a reputable child custody lawyer today. My offices are centrally located at 1040 Kings Highway N., Suite 202, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034.
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody/Parenting Time Modification
In order to obtain a modification of an existing child custody or parenting time arrangement via motion, a hearing will be required. At this hearing, your lawyer will explain the substantial change in circumstances that justifies the modification, and how the child’s best interests will continue to be served following the modification (as well as how failing to grant the modification order would not be in the child’s best interests). Depending upon the case, the court can either grant or deny the motion, or even request additional information regarding the case.
Even if you and your child’s parent agree on the modification, circumstances can occur at a later date that can cause the change to be contested. If this happens, and the modification was not formalized through legal proceedings, you will not be able to enforce the changes and the original agreement will control. The legal assistance may be simple, but necessary to ensure that your rights are protected in the future.