Experienced Haddon Heights attorney advises on visitation rights
When parents divorce, the effect on their minor children may be devastating. Nothing can completely relieve the pain and confusion that often results, but promptly developing appropriate child support arrangements is the best way to move forward positively. The Law Offices of Kelli M. Martone in Haddon Heights has the knowledge and experience to guide clients toward a resolution that encourages healthy communication after divorce and creates a supportive environment for sons and daughters. Kelli M. Martone has delivered valuable counsel to New Jersey clients for more than 15 years and is committed to establish a parenting plan that is truly in your child’s best interests.
Creating a parenting plan that addresses legal and physical custody terms
Representing clients in Camden and Burlington counties, my firm conducts a thorough review of each family’s circumstances to identify the best solutions for disagreements over:
- Legal custody — Following a divorce, a determination must be made about who has the authority to exercise the child’s legal rights and make key decisions regarding their upbringing. This is referred to as legal custody and it is often held jointly by both parents, even if the son or daughter primarily lives in one home. Sole legal custody can be awarded if one parent is deemed unable to provide proper care for the child due to a substance addition, a history of abuse or a demonstrated difficulty making responsible decisions.
- Physical custody — Where a child resides will have a major effect on their education and social opportunities. Should the parents live in close proximity after a divorce, joint physical custody may work even if the child spends more time in one house due to school location or other concerns. Alternatively, one parent may be granted primary custody while the other is given visitation rights. Whether you are the parent of primary residence (PPR) or parent of alternate residence (PAR), my firm strives to identify creative ways to make the situation work for everyone.
- 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 toward the other parent. When the divorcing couple cannot agree on a visitation schedule, a judge will have to intervene and render a decision based on what he or she thinks is in the child’s best interests. I draft and negotiate detailed parenting plans that set forth clear instructions regarding summer visits, vacations, holidays, attendance at extracurricular activities and transportation between the homes.
No matter what problems exist between parents, my firm handles custody, visitation and child support issues by focusing everyone’s attention on the well-being of the young people who are in the middle.
How do New Jersey courts decide who gets child custody?
If divorcing parents are unable to reach consensus on custody and visitation matters, judges can impose a plan after conducting a “best interests” analysis. Factors that usually come into play include parental work schedules, child-care issues and stability of each home environment. Youths who are at least 12 years old can notify the court of their preference, though the judge does not have to issue an order that comports with their wishes.
Dedicated litigator handles relocation and other modification requests
Parents who live apart face serious challenges when one decides to relocate, particularly when the PPR wants to move. Regardless of whether the move is prompted by a new job, a family medical situation or something else, you need the family court’s approval to modify the terms of your parenting plan. My firm advises parents looking to make changes and well as those opposing adjustments to custody and visitation arrangements. Again, the best interests of the child are paramount in these cases, and those interests usually are furthered by frequent, meaningful contact with both parents.
Do grandparents have visitation rights in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, grandparents may be entitled to visitation rights if they can demonstrate that such visits are in the best interests of their grandchildren. My background in this area helps me to construct effective arguments regarding the value of maintaining parent-child relationships. I understand how heartbreaking these conflicts can be and look to reach a mutually agreeable outcome whenever possible.
Contact a proven Camden County lawyer regarding your child custody issue
The Law Offices of Kelli M. Martone represents South Jersey clients in a full range of matters relating to child custody and visitation. My office is located in Haddon Heights. For an appointment, please call 856-432-4587 or contact me online.