When you file your child custody, visitation, or parenting plan with the court, it has the same effect as a court order. If your co-parent violates the terms of these agreements, you can take action to enforce your rights. A Short Hills child custody enforcement lawyer can help you protect the terms of the court order or agreement and advocate for your and your child’s best interests.
Raising children after separation or divorce is hard enough without the stress of an uncooperative partner. When it feels overwhelming to try and get compliance from your partner, our expert attorneys are here to help.
Child custody is seen in both legal and physical terms in Short Hills. Legal custody involves decision-making authority around things like education, medical treatment, and religion. Physical custody refers to where the child resides. There are many ways, subtle and overt, that a co-parent can interfere with or violate the rights protected in a parenting plan. The situations that violate the custody agreement made by two parents generally fall into three categories:
These issues become especially troubling when couples cannot cooperate or communicate. For example, a belligerent parent might consistently show up late or not at all at assigned visitation times. If parties cannot talk, this behavior may escalate and impact the child’s sense of security. Parents can block contact with one another, or speak badly about them – actions which may ultimately harm the child.
A Short Hills legal advisor with knowledge in child custody enforcement understands the negative impact of these actions and how to achieve compliance.
A co-parent’s behavior might change after the parenting plan is in place, perhaps displaying potentially harmful conduct. For instance, they could start abusing substances. The other parent may be seeking a modification of the arrangements to protect their child.
Modification is different than child custody enforcement—a party is seeking a new or different plan rather than implementing the agreement in place. However, a court will only modify a parenting plan upon a showing of changed circumstances. In all cases involving children, the court’s priority is always the best interests of the child.
In the best-case scenario, parents should find a way to communicate and adjust behavior to support the family. Sadly, this is often not achievable, and a parent may need to ask the court for help. To assist with child custody enforcement efforts, the aggrieved parent should keep a written record of any violations of the whole parenting plan—custody or visitation—and all attempts at communication.
A Short Hills custody legal representative can pursue enforcement by filing a motion that strengthens the litigant’s rights. This motion could reiterate the current agreement or present evidence of any violations. Courts take matters involving children very seriously and will not hesitate to impose a variety of sanctions on a non-compliant parent.
N.J.S.A.2C:13-4(a) addresses interference with custody as a crime of the second degree if the child is taken, detained, enticed, or concealed. In these cases, a party has the right to file a criminal complaint with the police. Under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23.3, other remedies available to the court for violation of custody or visitation orders include monetary sanctions, an award of counsel fees, compensatory time for the parent deprived of visitation or custody, and community service.
If you cannot communicate with a co-parent, and there has been a violation of the parenting plan in place, our team of Short Hills child custody enforcement lawyers are here to help. Where children are involved, time can be of the essence, especially if they are unable to have contact with one of their parents.
We understand how harmful this situation could be and how to help you enforce your rights in these challenging situations. Call us to get the legal support and advocacy you need to protect your family.