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Common Child Custody and Visitation Mistakes

Divorced parents arguing about child custody on light background

Divorces can take their toll on your emotions, your relationships, your finances, and your patience. If you share kids with your current or former spouse, it is important to keep a level head and act appropriately to ensure that your parental rights are protected. Below, we discuss a few of the common mistakes people make when dealing with shared custody and visitation arrangements. Call an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney if you are facing a New Jersey family law issue.

Taking your kid out of state without permission

Whether you have shared custody or a visitation arrangement, it is essential to stick to the terms of that agreement. If you plan to take the kids far away, you likely need the permission of their other parent. Taking your kids on a spontaneous vacation might interrupt your co-parent’s custody or visitation schedule, violating their rights. Your actions may even be seen as kidnapping. You could lose custody rights or harm your chances of obtaining additional custody rights in the future.

Missing parenting time

If you are not the custodial parent, it is vital to keep to your scheduled visitation. Divorces are complex, emotionally-charged affairs. It is easy to get caught up in the process and the aftermath, including the effects on your family, your friendships, and your livelihood. If you miss your time with your children or fail to generally stay involved in their lives, your ex may use that as grounds to take away your parenting time or even petition for sole custody.

Preventing your ex from seeing their kids

Both parents are guaranteed the rights granted to them under the settlement agreement and final divorce judgment. If your ex has the right to visitation or custody, you cannot unilaterally prevent them from exercising that right. It does not matter if they have missed their child support or alimony payments, or if you have personal reasons to get back at them. Unless you get a court order modifying the custody arrangement, you must let them see their kids or risk facing serious penalties yourself.

Not paying child support

If you were ordered to pay child support as part of a final divorce judgment, you have a legal obligation to continue paying until either the court or the recipient lets you off the hook. Failing to pay child support can lead to penalties, including damage to your credit score, limitations on your parental rights, wage garnishment, and even jail time.

Threatening the other parent

Emotions can run hot during a divorce. It is important to remain civil throughout the divorce and afterward when dealing with your ex and your children. If the court has reason to think you are a threat to either your former spouse or your kids, you could very quickly lose your parental rights and face additional penalties, including criminal sanctions. Keep your communications formal and business-like, and do not resort to threats or profanity either in emails, in texts, on the phone, or in person.

Help With Your New Jersey Child Custody Issues

If you are dealing with child custody, visitation, or other family law issues in New Jersey, speak with passionate, talented and trial-ready family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro. Call us today at 908-964-0102.

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