There are many issues that can negatively or positively impact court proceedings when parents disagree about child-related matters either in divorce or as single parents. Child custody is a main concern for many New Jersey moms and dads. Anyone currently preparing to negotiate or litigate custody issues will want to consider several factors ahead of time.

The end of a romantic relationship does not end a parent/child relationship. A parent may make an adult decision to no longer be married or be involved with the other parent, but that does not mean the children involved should no longer have an active relationship with that person. In fact, the court is typically of the opinion that most children fare best if they continue to have close relationships with both parents throughout their lives.

Litigation can be quite stressful. When possible, an out-of-court settlement is usually a good decision. In contentious relationships, it may not be possible to negotiate a co-parenting agreement without the court’s intervention. If a parent at any time believes his or her children are in danger in the presence of the other parent, an in-home custody evaluation can be requested. The results of the evaluation are then included in a report filed with the court.

If the report notes matters of concern, evidence of such may be offered by the other parent in support of a request for sole custody. If there is no evidence that a parent is a detriment to his or her children, the court will likely rule in favor of a shared custody plan or visitation agreement. Even concerning issues, such as substance abuse, do not necessarily mean a parent cannot see the children, though in some circumstances supervised visitation may be ordered. A New Jersey parent may seek child custody support at any time by requesting a meeting with an experienced family law attorney.