Custody conflict can arise due to disagreements over where a child should live, whom a child should be around, and how to parent the child. But conflict over child custody rarely stops with these fundamental points of contention. In reality, parents seeking custody tend to invent issues to argue about and even take those arguments to the court, no matter how irrelevant. Not only do family law judges frown upon frivolous custody disputes, but such conflict can also cost both parents time and money. Familiarizing yourself with the common causes of custody conflict can help you stay grounded while you work to resolve one of the most important court cases a parent can face.
Perhaps no more significant area of concern for separating parents is money. Raising a child is expensive. Basic New Jersey child support covers the base-line expenses of raising a child but might not cover all your costs. Parents need to agree on the way to cover what falls beyond child support. The non-custodial parent also needs to make sure the child support amount will be sufficient. Work with a New Jersey child custody attorney to ensure these concerns can be resolved amicably.
Chief among the causes of custody conflict is the issue of physical custody, or where the child will live. This an ordinary dispute in custody cases. When parents separate, their time with their child is put at risk. Suddenly, they face the prospect of “sharing” their child and worry they might not even get to live with their child anymore. The good news is many parents share physical custody, and parents who don’t get custody can get generous parenting time. New Jersey family law courts want to see children spend ample time with both parents, as long as it is in their best interests. Shared physical custody can be a challenge, but it is often the easiest way for children to transition in a divorce.
Many parents struggle to agree on major decision-making following a divorce. Making decisions on issues such as education and medical treatment is a considerable responsibility, and not one parents take lightly. In many cases, New Jersey parents share legal custody, meaning they both have the right to weigh in on such decisions. Sometimes, parents will divide these responsibilities or agree to come to a mutually acceptable decision on each one. If you have reason to believe the other parent would make decisions that are not in your child’s best interests, speak with a New Jersey child custody attorney. You may want to consider seeking full legal custody.
Incident to many child custody cases is a divorce or separation. Due to the intense emotions that typically surround such court actions, every aspect of the case, including custody, can be affected. It is not uncommon for parents to find fault with an ex’s new partner and raise that argument in a custody battle. Most family law judges would agree it could be difficult for a child to cope with a new partner in the house during and immediately after a divorce. You should also pay attention to signs the new partner might not have your child’s best interests in mind. Speak with an attorney about limiting who your child can be around if you have any genuine concerns.
Separated parents frequently fight over parenting practices such as bedtimes, how much “screen time” their child should have, and how to discipline them. Typically, parents can choose their parenting practices during their custodial or parenting time. If you have reason to believe the other parent’s parenting practices are harmful to your child, you might want to speak with an attorney about what you can do to protect your child. It might involve a different custodial arrangement or more limited parenting time. Bear in mind, minor disputes such as whether to send your child to bed at 8 or 9 pm are unlikely to appear compelling to a judge. But significant issues, such as excessive discipline, are good cause to go to court.
Parental alienation often happens gradually through a variety of methods of deception, manipulation, and dishonesty. This type of custody conflict is self-renewing and typically has some momentum. The more alienated you are from your child, the more cause of conflict you will have. Thus, you should stop it as soon as possible. Again, the best way to combat this type of conflict is to stop it in its tracks. Work with a New Jersey child custody attorney to ask the court for relief, such as supervised parenting time or limiting the other parent’s contact with your child.
The intricacies of custody cases can generate conflict in and of themselves. You may fight over going to court, the costs of hiring attorneys, or the legitimacy of each other’s demands. Try not to get swept up in this conflict and focus on the real concerns (i.e. your child’s happiness and well being).
If you have questions about your custody rights in New Jersey, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced divorce and child custody attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can aggressively protect your rights and your child’s best interests. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.