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Child Custody

South Jersey Child Custody Lawyers

When a married couple with a family decides to divorce, it can have a devastating effect on the children. Even under the best of circumstances, the divorce process can be an emotional rollercoaster for the children, particularly for younger children who may not understand why they will no longer be living together as a family.  For this reason, it is crucial to resolve child custody issues as quickly as possible and with the children’s best interests in mind.

Types of Custody Agreements

An important component of a child custody case involves where the children will physically live. There are several possible scenarios depending on what is best for the child. One of the most common types of custody agreements includes joint legal custody, in which the child resides primarily with one parent, but both parents are actively involved in the decision making process.

Sole legal custody occurs when one parent is awarded primary custody, which includes all decision-making rights. This usually happens when one parent is deemed unable to provide proper care for the child due to drug or alcohol addictions, a history of abuse, or other signs of being an unfit parent.  Shared legal and physical custody occurs when the child or children split their time equally between the parents, and the parents share the decisions-making.

Child Custody Regarding Visitation

Ideally, parents will be able to reach an amicable agreement regarding child visitation schedules. When this happens, both parents can enjoy quality time with their children without feeling anger or bitterness towards the other parent. When the divorcing couple cannot agree on a visitation schedule, a judge will have to intervene. When this happens, a judge will take into consideration a range of factors including parental work schedules, child-care issues, holidays and school schedules, as well as the ability of the parties to support the child financially.

Modification of Child Custody Agreements

  • Relocation

Experienced South Jersey divorce lawyers help negotiate the terms of a child custody agreement when it needs to be modified. A New Jersey court will modify a custody agreement when there is a “substantial change in circumstance.” For example, if one parent relocates due to employment change or remarriage the custody agreement will need to be modified.

  • Parent Alienation

If a parent no longer abides by the terms of the agreement, modifications will need to be made. Cause for modification of a custody agreement can include different types of parent alienation; a parent who regularly cancels scheduled visits, a parent who takes steps to turn the child against the other parent, or a parent who makes decisions that affect the child without consulting the other parent.

Non-Parental Child Custody

An experienced South Jersey divorce lawyer can intervene when neither parent is able to properly care for the children. Under these circumstances, family members or friends may express an interest in raising the child.  In order for that individual to obtain legal custody of the child, they must have the child in their care for a minimum of 12 months. After that time, they may submit a petition for appointment as a kinship legal guardian to gain sole legal custody of the child.

South Jersey Child Custody Lawyers at Kearney & Martone Advocate for Families Dealing with Custody Issues

The experienced South Jersey child custody lawyers at Kearney & Martone can help you navigate the complexities of child custody in New Jersey.  With sensitivity and professionalism, our team of South Jersey divorce lawyers will help you with all your family law needs.  With offices conveniently located in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, our child custody lawyers in South Jersey serve clients throughout Camden County, Burlington County and Gloucester County. To schedule a consultation, please call 856-547-7733 or contact us online.