Joint Custody: Getting to See Your Children Again
Your life has been pretty rough for the past few years. After your divorce, things began to tumble. You got arrested for getting into a car crash because of a DUI and spent some time in jail for the better part of a year. Your ex, who was furious, was granted sole custody of your only child.
Some time has passed, and things began to change for the better. You have a good job with a solid paycheck, and you have a place of your own. The only thing missing is your child. Now that you’re on the right track, is it possible to have joint custody reinstated?
How to Change Your Custody Agreement?
To modify a child custody arrangement in New Jersey, you should first speak with the custodial parent to see if you can come to an agreement. You shouldn’t just spring a court order on your ex-spouse. Communication is key to reaching the best outcome for everyone
Once you come to a custody agreement, you’ll need to file the appropriate paperwork. This will include filling out a Petition to Modify Custody which you will submit to the court for approval. You may also need to provide the court with a proposed Order on Custody for the judge to sign if he/she rules in your favor.
Aside from submitting the proper paperwork, you will need to change any child support arrangements you have with your ex-spouse. This means a Petition to Modify Support needs to be filed.
What If You Cannot Agree on an Arrangement?
If for some reason you and your ex-spouse can not reach an agreement on your child’s custody arrangements, then you will need to file a motion with a court to hold a hearing.
Once the forms have been filed, it’s important to be prepared for the hearing. Remember, the court will typically determine a ruling based on what’s in your child’s best interest. There are also several specific factors a judge must consider when deciding the outcome of child custody cases, such as:
- The interaction between the child and the parents as well as any siblings
- The child’s preference if he/she is over the age of 12
- The stability of the home environment
- You and your spouse’s fitness as parents
- Your employment responsibilities (i.e. Are you currently employed? Will it support you and your children?)
If you cannot prove that you are fit to care for the child, then you may not receive custody, even if your ex agrees.
The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone Can Help You
Any time you deal with the court system in New Jersey, it’s important to have an experienced family lawyer by your side to walk you through the child custody process. For thirty years, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has helped clients throughout New Jersey modify their custody arrangements. Contact our firm today for a free consultation.