In New Jersey, there is an established statute which controls the visitation rights of grandparents. If for some reason a parent denies a grandparent visitation rights, the grandparent must then make an application to the court to compel visitation. The grandparent bears the burden of proving that visitation is in the best interests of the child or children. It is important for a grandparent seeking visitation rights to contact an attorney experienced with non-parental visitation law.
Custody & Parenting Time
Determining child custody and parent time is an extremely sensitive subject and requires experience, patience, and careful discussion. In most cases, Joint Legal Custody is the norm, but this has no bearing on where the child or children will live and how parent time will be allocated. This can be determined through mediation or litigation.
For those unaware, New Jersey has established the NJ Child Support Guidelines which provides the baseline determination to calculate child support for parents whose combined income is less than $240,000. In the cases which the parents’ combined income is over $240,000, the Court has a list of specific factors to consider in order to determine child support. In addition to basic child support, there are also “extraordinary” childcare expenses that must be examined and allocated between the parents.
When a parent wishes to physically relocate their child outside the state, there is often a long list of issues that must be settled before a move can happen. The parent needs to show that significant changes have occurred to warrant a move, and that the relocation is in the best interest of the child. Due to the nature of the relocation request, this type of litigation creates a unique set of circumstances which often requires judicial intervention. Utilizing an attorney who is experienced with New Jersey Child Relocation laws is especially key.
Emancipation of a child occurs when they are outside of the “sphere of influence” of the parents, but there is no set emancipation law which establishes when a minor is officially emancipated. Emancipation traditionally occurs once a significant life event has happened, like the graduation from college, permanent residence apart from either parent, etc. Emancipation can be determined by the parties in their Marital Settlement Agreements.
In a divorce case, both parents have an obligation to support their children, which includes paying college education expenses. There are twelve non-exclusive factors the Court must consider in order to determine how much each parent must contribute to their child or children’s college education. Some of these factors include the financial resources of both parents, the ability of the child to obtain financial aid, and the aptitude of the child to obtain the requested education.
In order to legally adopt a child in New Jersey, a Complaint for Adoption must be filed with the court. This is only one of several pleadings that may need to be filed. As such, it is imperative to utilize attorneys with experience on single parent adoption, stepparent adoption, second parent adoption, and/or LGBT adoption, in addition to all the filings that may be necessary with the specific adoption.