Child Custody, Parenting Time & Paternity
The issues of child custody and parenting time are often the most sensitive and emotional for parties going through a divorce, and the most difficult for a court to decide. In every case, each parent has the right to a continuing relationship with their children. For the court, the guiding principle behind every child custody determination is the “best interest of the child”. Same has been described as “an expression of the court’s special responsibility to safeguard the interests of a child at the center of a custody dispute”. Kinsella v. Kinsella, 150 N.J. 276, 317 (1997).
In rendering a decision on custody, the courts of New Jersey are statutorily mandated to consider a host of factors including, but not limited to, the fitness of each parent, the needs of the child(ren), the relationship of the child or children with any siblings, any history of domestic violence, and the safety and stability of the home environment offered by each parent.
While it is extremely rare for a parent to be denied access to their child(ren) altogether, in some instances, a Court may direct for supervised parenting time where it finds same would be in the best interests of the child(ren). In some circumstances, grandparents, older siblings, stepparents and even third parties may be granted parenting time, or even be vested with custody, though a much higher standard is applied.
At Eveland & Foster, LLC, we are committed to helping our clients obtain the best outcomes for their families consistent with their needs and those of their children. Contact us if you need guidance through a custody and/or parenting time dispute.