New Jersey parents who are getting divorced will need to negotiate a child custody agreement, which includes visitation and exchange procedures. The custody agreement negotiations, though necessary to complete a divorce, might become tense and emotional. These emotions might continue even after the divorce is finalized.
For some New Jersey parents who have ended their marriage, a divorce does not put an end to their disagreements. One of the major issues that may arise in co-parenting is when one parent's move to be closer to a new partner disrupts the visitation schedule. The other parent may resent having to drive the child farther and may also dislike the new partner. The new partner may resent the other parent's attitude. The parent who moved might not have anticipated the additional time burden created by the commute to the new location.
Although grandparents may have many opinions about how their grandchildren will be raised, they have little legal ground for impacting these young lives. In some cases, outspoken and opinionated grandparents find that their ability to spend time with these youngsters can be limited because of disagreements with the parents. An interest in spending time might not be legally guaranteed, but there are some situations in which a New Jersey grandparent could gain visitation rights or even custody through the court system.
One challenge for parents in New Jersey during or after a divorce may be negotiating parenting issues that are smaller than those around custody and support. A judge is unlikely to want to micromanage what activities a child participates in, but parents may find themselves in conflicts they cannot resolve. However, if they cannot come to an agreement through talking to one another, there are a number of professionals available for help.
Domestic violence is a central aspect in divorce cases in New Jersey, particularly when children are involved. Many people believe that its presence means the court will make an obvious ruling against the spouse accused of violence, this is not always the case. The even bigger problem is that believing certain myths about domestic violence actually hurts the families involved in their journey to emotional health and contribute to the continuation of the abuse, sometimes creating situations where a child who has been a victim or who has witnessed it develops PTSD, which can manifest even in adulthood.
New Jersey residents may have heard that on September 7, a nine-month child custody battle between Madonna and her former husband, Guy Ritchie, was resolved, according to reports. The former couple had been fighting for custody of their 16-year-old son, but details of the agreement were not released at the time of reporting. The couple had been divorced since March 2008.
New Jersey parents who are facing divorce might wonder what criteria are used to award custody. In some cases, they may be able to negotiate a custody arrangement between themselves. However, if that is not possible, it may be necessary to turn to litigation. There, in deciding who gets primary physical custody of the child, a judge generally looks at who the child's primary physical caretaker was during the relationship.
The provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act have been adopted in New Jersey and all other U.S. states. The intent of the act is to bring consistency to child custody laws across the country and reduce the number of interstate child custody disputes. Judges in New Jersey make child custody decisions based upon several factors, but the most important of these is what is considered to be in the best interests of the child or children involved.
In some child custody cases, New Jersey parents who are unable to see their children in person as often as is ideal might have some form of "virtual visitation" with the child. This is simply the practice of keeping in touch with children using technology that may range from the old-fashioned phone call to more up-to-date methods of contact such as Skype or instant messaging. Some jurisdictions refer to it as "electronic visitation" or "Internet visitation."
Some New Jersey parents who are ending their marriages may have heard of the concept of "parental alienation" and be concerned about whether it might affect their own efforts to get custody of their children. "Parental alienation" is the idea that one parent might deliberately turn their child against the other parent. This could include allegations of child abuse in an effort to make that parent lose custody.