New Jersey Custody Attorneys Helping Parents Resolve Child Custody Matters
Child custody can be one of the most contested and highly emotional issues in a divorce. If you are concerned about protecting your rights to maintain or share the custody of your children, it is important that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Based in Warren, we at Shimalla, Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP, work with parents across New Jersey in all types of child custody and parenting time matters. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation.
We are Dedicated to Protecting the Interests of Children
When you work with our attorneys on a child custody or paternity case, you can trust that we will remain mindful of your children’s needs. In fact, our lawyers are trusted by New Jersey courts for our integrity and skill. For example, attorneys Amy Zylman Shimalla, Amy Wechsler, Heidi Ann Lepp and Michele D’Onofrio are often appointed by the court to serve as guardians ad litem and/or parenting coordinators. Our lawyers are also called upon to act as fact-finders for the court or to provide ongoing recommendations to the parties in difficult or high-conflict custody cases.
Determining Child Custody
In New Jersey, there are two different types of child custody, legal custody and residential, or physical custody. Legal custody involves the parents’ rights to make decisions regarding their child’s education, health care, religion, and general upbringing. In New Jersey, there is a presumption that parties will have joint legal custody, thereby sharing in these decisions. The extent of parental involvement may vary, however. Also, in unusual circumstances, sole legal custody may be warranted. Our attorneys can help educate you regarding legal custody and help you determine arrangements that will best serve your children’s needs.
Residential or physical custody refers to where a child will actually live and how much time a child spends in each parent’s home. In determining the custody of children, the courts evaluate a number of factors, including parenting strengths, parental fitness, parental availability, existing parenting arrangements, special needs, and child preferences (when children are of sufficient age). In presenting the facts and advocating for your position on the issues of custody and parenting time, your attorney is a critical asset to support your rights and protect the best interests of your children.
Mediation and Child Custody
Our attorneys are experienced in mediation both privately and through the court-mandated program. Amy Zylman Shimalla and Amy Wechsler helped to create the custody mediation program that has been in effect in Somerset County since 1995. All of our attorneys are experienced custody mediators. We are also experienced advocates in representing parties who participate in mediation to address custody issues. In all cases, whether we serve as mediators or as advocates, the best interests of the child are our first priority.
The United States Supreme Court ruled that, in most instances, a court cannot interfere with a parent’s constitutional right to rear his or her children by mandating grandparent visitation. Nevertheless, there are exceptional circumstances in which grandparents can be entitled to visitation with their grandchildren. Our experienced attorneys can help you analyze your particular case and help facilitate resolution.
Contact Shimalla, Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP
We welcome the opportunity to discuss your child custody concerns. Call us today at 908-922-4238 or via email to schedule an appointment. We represent clients across Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Middlesex, Union, Morris, Monmouth, Mercer, and Essex counties, and beyond.
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