In nearly all cases, it is in a child’s best interest to have regular contact with both of his or her parents. Ideally, this is achieved through joint custody agreements, where each parent has an equal share of childcare duties and time with their son or daughter. But this type of arrangement is not possible for every family. Sometimes, only one parent is awarded custody of the child. When that happens, the other parent is awarded parenting time unless there is an outstanding reason why he or she should not spend time with the child, such as a history of domestic violence or criminal actions committed against children.
Parenting time orders come with instructions for the parent. These instructions are usually about when the parent may spend time with the child, how much time the parent and child may spend each week, and any restrictions on the parent’s time. These restrictions can include requiring that the visits happen in a public place or at the custodial parent’s house, prohibiting the child from staying with the parent overnight, are requiring that the visit be supervised by a court-appointed social worker.
If you do not comply with these requirements, you can face a fine. If the problem persists and you continually violate your parenting time order, the court can take greater action against you, including terminating your parenting time rights. If you are a custodial parent who continually denies your former partner his or her right to spend time with your child, the court may grant him or her custody of the child. This is not a common occurrence, but it is possible in some situations.
It is possible to have your parental rights terminated. This can be done through a court petition alleging that the parent in question has endangered the child’s welfare. Parental rights are only terminated in rare, extreme cases where all of the following circumstances are met:
If you are facing the possibility of having your parental rights terminated, you need to work with a competent family attorney to protect your right to spend time with your child. For further legal guidance with this issue and others you might face as you work through your divorce and life afterward, call The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. at (732) 365-3299 to schedule a consultation with a member of our firm. We are proud advocates for New Jersey families throughout Burlington, Ocean, Monmouth, Mercer, and Middlesex counties.