Custody Conflict: Your Options
High-conflict custody cases can be emotionally trying. Resolving such issues can take months of legal battles. Meanwhile, the child in question suffers. While many people assume going to court is the only way to resolve contested custody cases, there are other options. In fact, the courts try to keep custody cases out of the courtroom as much as possible and often refer parents to various professional services to help them work through the conflict on their own.
If the court hasn’t already given you a referral, you may be wondering what options you have for dealing with custody conflict. Assuming you are unable to reach an agreement with the other parent, let’s take a look at what else you can try.
The court refers many parents to the Custody and Parenting Time Mediation Program. You can also opt to attempt mediation before you even take the matter to court. Many parents can reach an agreement with the help of a mediator, but they need to make some important decisions.
You can also choose to work with someone such as a parenting coordinator or parenting coach who can help you figure out what type of custody and parenting time arrangement would be best for your child.
When a case isn’t resolved through mediation or with the help of a parenting coordinator, the court may order an investigation of the character and fitness of the parents, the economic status of each parent, and the safety and appropriateness of each parent’s home environment as it pertains to custody. The information gathered from the investigation helps the judge make an educated decision on custody. If you are working with an attorney, he or she might also be able to arrange for a full parenting assessment or custody evaluation if you question the other parent’s fitness for custody.
Speak with an attorney about these options and what one is best for you. If you are unable to work through the conflict after trying one of these options, the court may have to decide. The judge will consider many factors when making a decision on custody and will make a decision that is the best interests of your child. Depending on your case, however, you might want to try to resolve your issues before this point because you typically cannot change a final custody order unless there has been a significant change in circumstances.
Are you involved in a contested custody case? The attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC understand how stressful your experience can be and will protect your best interests throughout your case. Located in Union, 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) 738-8734, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation so you can work with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.