Articles Tagged with visitation

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Earlier this month, a March, 2017 written opinion by family court judge the Honorable Russell J. Passomano, J.S.C. was approved for publication in the matter of BG-v-LH (FM-07-468-13).   In this published opinion the court addressed issues of296050aba1c021ff4a7e4cab0ed498d2-1-300x200 jurisdiction in a custody and parenting time dispute where one party had relocated with the children out of the state of New Jersey, but the parties had reached an agreement as part of their divorce that future custody disputes would be decided under New Jersey law and in New Jersey courts.  This case contains a detailed analysis that a family court undergoes to resolve jurisdiction issues and the application of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

In this case, the parties married in 1993 and had three children.   By the time of the litigation the eldest child was an adult living in Israel, while the younger two lived with Plaintiff in Massachusetts.    The middle child was disabled and confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak or use his hands due to cerebral palsy.

In October, 2013 the New Jersey family court entered a final judgment as to custody and parenting time.  That custody judgment contained the defendant’s consent to allow the plaintiff to move with the children to Massachusetts no later than the beginning of the 2014/15 school year.  The judgment also contained the parties’ agreement that until the children were attending college or no longer living at home that the parties would maintain a residence no further apart than the 280 mile distance between the Boston area and the Northern New Jersey area.  The judgment set forth a parenting time schedule for Defendant and a holiday schedule, with the parties sharing use of a specialized van in order to accommodate the middle child’s special needs.  The parties consented to continued jurisdiction in New Jersey, and contained the parties’ irrevocable consent to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of New Jersey for any future custody and parenting time disputes, as long as one parent resides in New Jersey.

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I am always encouraged when parents who are ending their relationship strive to put aside their own personal conflict with one another to try to do what is best for their children.  It is well aacknowledged that it is important to children’s development for them to have consistency and stability in their lives.   Children may have already experienced and witnessed discord and strife when their parents are splitting up, and may experience worry and uncertainty about what their living arrangements are going to be when their parents are no longer living together.   Parents who strive to maintain a life of consistency and reduced volatility after the parents have ended their relationship should be lauded.  How to put into practice the desire for consistency for the children can be difficult. Continue reading

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Frequently, clients come to me complaining that their spouse or partner is exposing their children to dating relationships or conversely ask what should be their response to a spouses objection. Generally I advise that one should follow a common sense approach, meaning one should look at the effect on the children and not rush to judgment automatically, contrary to the position of one’s spouse. I think it is fair to say in general that children should not be exposed to serial partners who are all introduced as mom’s or dad’s new best friend. Continue reading

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8-03-3

On January 12th 2015, the Appellate Division published its opinion in the case of Costa v. Costa.  In Costa, the parties were married in 1994 and divorced in 2006.  They had two children together, one being born in 1997 and the other in 2000.  By way of settlement agreement entered into at the time of the divorce, the parties agreed the mother would be the primary residential custodian and that they would share joint legal custody of the children. Continue reading

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The Appellate Division recently handed down a clear and unambiguous message to triall courts and litigators alike regarding custody disputes and how they should be handled procedurally, regardless of whether the case is pre- or post-judgment.  The case, entitled D.A. v. R.C., involved the biological parents of a fourteen (14) year old boy each seeking to be designated as the parent of primary residence approximately ten (10) years after entering into a consent order resolving all issues of custody between them.  Continue reading

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We all look forward to the holiday season. Traditions developed around holidays build a collective family memory that binds us together uniquely and permanently. We bring the traditions we learn in our childhoods into our marriages and incorporate them with our spouse’s traditions into a new hybrid tradition. We do this generation to generation creating traditions and cementing the family across generations. Continue reading

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On August 6, 2014, the Appellate Division published the decision in KAF v. DLM., in which the Court clarified the standard that family courts are to apply when considering applications by a third party seeking custody and/or visitation and claims that he or she is a “psychological parent” to a child who already has fit and involved legal parent(s). Continue reading

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Prophetically, Karen Willitts in her blog on January 3, 2014 entitled “Grandparent Visitation in New Jersey”, discussed the state of our law as it relates to the rights of grandparents to seek visitation with theirgrandpa grandchildren pursuant to New Jersey statute, N.J.S.A. 9:2-7.1.  Continue reading

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One of the most difficult – and most divisive  – aspects of a divorce case is where there is a bona fide dispute between the parties as to what the custody and parenting time arrangements should be for their minor children.  Frequently, a client will insist that the children be allowed to speak to the judge directly so that the judge can hear first-hand with whom the child would rather live and/or so the judge can be told what a terrible parent the other party is.  Continue reading

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As stated by the New Jersey Supreme Court, “The emotional attachments between grandparents and grandchildren have been described asgrandparent unique in that the relationship is exempt from the psycho-emotional intensity and responsibility that exists in parent/child relationships. Continue reading