You Typically Can’t Deny Visitation Rights Unilaterally
The divorce rate in the United States as of 2016 was 3.2 per every 1,000 people. Generally speaking, the state of New Jersey wants both parents to have a role in their child’s life after a divorce. Therefore, you may be required to share your child with the noncustodial parent even if you don’t want to.
Lifestyle Choices Don’t Invalidate Custody or Visitation Orders
You may not approve of the person your former spouse is dating or where your ex chooses to live. However, the mere fact that your child’s other parent is in a new relationship isn’t enough to deny custody or visitation rights. You also can’t decide to interfere with your child’s relationship with his or her other parent because you don’t like that person’s new home or apartment.
However, if you have worries about how your ex’s lifestyle could impact your child, it may be possible to bring them to your former spouse’s attention. Some legitimate concerns could include:
- Potentially exposing your child to sexual material
- Exposing your child to drug use or other illicit activities
- Asking a child to live in a home that may be too small
If your spouse chooses not to address these concerns to your satisfaction, it may be possible to take a dispute to court. At that time, a judge may be able to review your claim and determine if an existing order should be modified.
You Can’t Deny ParentalContact Because an Existing Plan Is Inconvenient
It is important to remember that a visitation or custody arrangement is meant to serve the best interest of your child. Therefore, you will generally be required to honor the terms of an existing parenting plan even if it may be difficult at times. However, you may want to talk to a Bergen County divorce attorney if your former spouse decides to relocate.
A parent’s relocation may be a valid reason to explore changing the terms of a parenting plan or custody agreement. A judge would look at several factors when deciding to modify an order, such as:
- Where the parent is moving
- Why the relocation is taking place
- If keeping the order intact preserves the child’s best interest
Generally speaking, if a parent moves to another state, it would likely be unreasonable to allow a current order to stand. A Bergen County divorce attorney may be able to help you get a visitation or a custody order modified in a proper manner.
You Can’t Keep a Child Away From the Other Parent Out of Spite
It is important that you don’t use your child as a means of hurting your former spouse. In most cases, keeping a child away from a parent only hurts the child, and it can breed resentment in that child toward you. Therefore, it is critical that you don’t allow your emotions to lead you to make decisions that may harm a relationship with your son or daughter for years to come.
Visitation and Child Support Are Separate Issues
In most cases, you can deny a noncustodial parent access to his or her child simply because that person owes child support. Ideally, you will allow the other parent to provide for the child in other ways, such as watching the child while you work. In most cases, a court will not put an end to visitation or other contact with a son or daughter as long as the child isn’t in danger. However, you can still take your former spouse to court to pursue any past-due support that you are owed.
If you are in need of legal help during or after a divorce, contact the Law Office of Kelly Berton Rocco today. You can reach our Hackensack office by calling (201) 343-0078 or by sending a fax to (201) 343-0089. Emails can be sent to email@example.com.