Children's Rights

Knowledgeable New Jersey Family Law Lawyers Based in the Westfield and Summit Area

Your children’s needs are a critical consideration when your family is undergoing change, particularly in divorce or custody matters. Our New Jersey family law attorneys can advise clients throughout the state on how to protect a child’s interests. At Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, we recognize that you may have questions regarding the financial support of your children, as well as your children’s need for parenting time. With decades of experience and extensive legal knowledge, we are prepared to address any concerns that you may have.

Children’s Rights in Support and Custody Matters

As a matter of both public policy and law, New Jersey supports the fundamental rights of children to quality parenting time with each parent, including consistent custody schedules, as well as financial contributions from both parents. New Jersey family courts have adopted the Bill of Rights for Children in Divorce and Dissolution Actions, which provides guidelines that promote the healthy adjustment of children during and following separation proceedings. These rights reflect that the needs of children are independent from those of their parents, and any parental conflict should not involve the participation of children as a means to hurt or undermine another parent’s relationship with his or her children.

New Jersey law encourages parents to maintain responsibility for and contact with their children following a divorce. Parenting plans provide a schedule governing the times that children are in the care of each parent, and they may also address each parent’s decision-making responsibilities, including the health, education, and other needs of the children. In matters of child custody, parenting time is determined by the courts under the legal standard of the best interest of the child. The court may consider many factors, sometimes including the preferences of the child. In addition, the court may consider whether one parent is interfering with a child’s relationship with the other parent in determining custody and parenting time.

New Jersey requires that both parents contribute financially to support their child, regardless of parenting time, until the child is considered emancipated. The state’s Child Support Guidelines provide criteria for a court to use in establishing the amount of child support owed by each parent. In short, the court will first determine the amount of financial support required to raise the children, including expenses for housing, food, clothing, transportation, health care, and other items. The court will then divide the cost between each parent depending on their parenting time, incomes, and financial ability.

Seek Advice from a Skilled New Jersey Divorce Attorney

At Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, our New Jersey divorce lawyers provide legal guidance on child custody and support to individuals throughout New Jersey. We have additional offices in Summit and Red Bank from which we can offer representation to clients in areas such as Berkeley Heights, Florham Park, South Brunswick, Manalapan, Milburn, Roseland, Springfield, and more. Call our office at (908) 233-6800 or contact us online to set up a consultation at which we can discuss issues related to your divorce.