In general, New Jersey courts try to order a child custody arrangement that will be most beneficial for the child. But this doesn’t always work out. There are circumstances where custody schedules need to be changed. In some cases, both parents may agree to changing the custody schedule, making it straightforward to work out a new arrangement. But sometimes, things happen that require a change without the support of one parent.
Changing child custody
Relocation is a common reason for child custody schedules to be adjusted. When a parent relocates with a child, visitation may need to change, especially if one parent will be much farther away from the other parent. Positive lifestyle changes, where one parent recovers from drug or alcohol addiction can also lead to custody modification. On the other hand, if one parent shows abuse or neglect, they may lose custody of the child and be subject to supervised visitation or no contact at all.
If parents are struggling to co-parent, they may petition the court to make custody changes. If one party doesn’t follow the custody order, by not returning the child on time or not meeting when scheduled, they may find their visitation further limited. When a child gets to a certain age, they may request to spend more time at one parent’s house and the court will consider the child’s wishes and make changes if it’s deemed necessary for the well-being of the child.
Legal help for child custody disputes
Fighting for child custody can create a tense situation, leaving the child caught in the middle. But there are some occasions when the agreed-upon custody arrangement needs to be changed. When this happens, New Jersey parents are encouraged to seek legal advice to understand their rights.