02. Child Custody & Parenting Time
Child Custody and Parenting Time
Kids aren't property—yet that's what often happens when a relationship ends. Each parent forgets the other parent's good qualities, believing that he or she is the only one entitled to spend time with the children.
However, except in extreme circumstances, courts believe that it's in a child's best interest to have a healthy relationship with both parents. Oftentimes, litigation can stall or drag on because of the singular issue of custody and parenting time, often referred to as legal and physical custody.
Legal custody relates to the ability to make decisions related to your child's health, education and welfare; physical custody relates to how much time a child spends with each parent. The parent who has the majority of time with the child is referred to the Parent of Primary Residence, and the other parent is referred to as the Parent of Alternate Residence.
You may have heard all sorts of things relating to these designations from friends and family who've gone through the family court system. Relying on anecdotes will just cause confusion and create uncertainty.
When you meet with Smedley Law Group, you'll receive individualized input regarding your specific custody and parenting time situation and receive clarity about the road ahead. We'll discuss your goals and desires—and work with you to craft a parenting plan that's in your child's best interest.
While most couples have a say in decisions relating to their child's health, education or welfare, it's not always appropriate for that to be the case. If you can't cooperate and co-parent with your ex, sharing in the decision-making responsibilities with that person may not be in your child's best interest—and can lead to constant conflict and strife in your life. When you work with us, we'll help to understand you, your ex and your situation to determine if your child will be best served by a joint custodial arrangement.
Oftentimes after a parenting plan has been established, it becomes necessary to modify it, whether due to a job change, relocation within the state, issues relating to one or more parents, change in schools or any one of a hundred other possibilities. When that happens, the existing order needs to be modified. We'll work with you to understand your current situation, whether you're the parent seeking the change or opposing it with an eye toward achieving your desired outcome, taking into consideration your individual circumstances.
Did you know that you can't move out of the State of New Jersey with your child unless you have the consent of the other parent or permission of the court?
It's true—while a parent could, in theory, move from Gloucester County to Cape May County without a Court Order, that same parent couldn't move to Philadelphia without permission, despite it being closer in distance to his or her present residence.
That's not to say that moving within the state doesn't have its own implications. However, you don't need court permission or consent to move.
If you're facing a move out of state, or your ex is seeking to move out of state with your child, Smedley Law Group provides the guidance and legal support you need during this period of uncertainty.
Ready to throw out the status quo?
Book a consult today.
Our powerhouse team of attorneys have chosen to devote their entire practice to family law, ensuring you have a support system of strong litigators who’ll work on your behalf in your unique situation. We listen and talk with you to determine your goals and desired outcomes, and then work with you to achieve them through our advocacy.