Articles Posted in Hoboken Child Custody

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Grandparents are integral members of many families. They provide love, support and an important tie to a child’s ancestry and heritage. Nevertheless, in New Jersey, a grandparent (or great-grandparent) who wants a judge to order visitation, assuming the child’s parents are considered fit by the law, has to clear a fairly high hurdle.

That hurdle is high because the law recognizes that one of the fundamental rights of parents is the right to raise their children in the way that they think is the best. Courts will only force parents to go against their own preferences in very limited circumstances. Opportunities do exist for such a court order in some circumstances so, whether you are the grandparent seeking visitation or a parent who opposes visitation, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable Hoboken child custody attorney about your situation.

A case that was decided by the Appellate Division court recently is a good example of how high this hurdle is. F.S. was a man who had several children, including a daughter with S.P.M., two sons with A.K. and a stepson (A.K.’s son) whom F.S. was in the process of adopting.

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Recently, a member of the New Jersey Senate proposed a bill that would streamline the legal process for the spouse or civil union partner of a biological parent to adopt his/her spouse/partner’s child. The bill, if passed, would set up a speedier process through which same-sex spouses and same-sex civil union partners could adopt the other’s biological child conceived through assisted reproduction, insidernj.com reported.

At this point, you may be wondering, “well, with marriage equality the law of the land in all 50 states after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in 2015, the need for going through the trouble and expense of adopting my spouse’s child isn’t there anymore, right?” Well… no. As the senator’s bill recognizes, there are still plenty of very important reasons why it could benefit you and your family to go through the adoption process. Contact an experienced Hoboken family law attorney to discuss your specific situation and learn more about the best path for you.

Before the Obergefell ruling, there were some very good reasons for you — if your child was biologically related to your partner but not to you — to go through the legal steps to adopt that child. The law in all states gives legal parents some very strong rights when it comes to their children, including the right to shut out those the parent doesn’t want in the child’s life. If you’re not a legal parent or guardian, you don’t have those rights — which means you are at risk of being the one “on the outside looking in.” Biological parents automatically have that legal status. Non-biological parents, like stepparents, do not have that same level of legal recognition.

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Back in August, a ruling by the highest court in Australia made international news. In the ruling, the court declared that the man whose sperm was donated to conceive a child had parental rights – including the right to block a move by the child and her mothers. While the ruling by this Australian court will have absolutely no direct effect on the law here in New Jersey, this issue of sperm donors is a very important one here in this state.

These types of issues can be incredibly important to some New Jersey families, including lesbian couples, couples where a male partner is infertile or single women who desire to have children. When your sperm donor seeks visitation or custody, it is important to know exactly how to handle this kind of case. One of your first steps should be to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney.

In the Australian case, the biological mother was a woman who sought to start a family with her new partner, according to the Australian Broadcasting Company report. A male friend of the woman agreed to be the sperm donor. Initially, the women raised the child and the biological father visited periodically. However, after the mother’s wife developed cancer and the family decided to move to New Zealand, the biological father sued to block the move. The court system ultimately ruled for the biological father, concluding the man was legally a parent to the child.

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There are many reasons a child might go from living with one parent to living with the other. That change might be the decision of the parents or, in the case of an older child, the parents might allow that mature older child to have a voice in the choice. That child’s relocation may impact a lot of things, including child support. If your teenage child goes from living with your ex-spouse to living with you, then the law says that, generally, you are entitled to a change in child support.

It may mean that, going forward, neither parent pays. Alternately, it may mean that you go from paying your ex-spouse to receiving payments from your ex-spouse. Either way, a modification is often in order. Getting that change is not automatic when your child moves in with you, though. You have to go through a specific legal process to get your child support modified, so you should  have an experienced New Jersey family law attorney representing you and guiding you through the process.

To get an idea how this works, we can look at a recent court case involving a Hunterdon County family. The facts went like this: mother and father married in 1993, had a son in 2001 and divorced in 2003. At the time of the divorce, both parents agreed that the son would live with the mother and that the father would have visitation one night per week and every other weekend. The father also agreed to pay child support.

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Pink concert didn’t harm N.J. girl, judge says

A new case recently decided by the New Jersey Courts deals with the situation where one divorced  parent disagrees with the other about attending cultural events such as a music concert.  While the artist Pink was the subject of this case, you can see how it could be problem with a Miley Cyrus concert or a Wrestlemania event.

This case presents issues involving divorced parents, an eleven year old girl, and rock music. The parties are in the midst of ongoing contested litigation over physical custody of the child, during which the plaintiff-father contends that the defendant-mother abused her parental discretion and made an age-inappropriate decision by taking their daughter to a rock concert performed by the singer, P!nk, on December 11, 2013 at the Prudential Center 1 Pseudonyms and initials are used in place of the actual names of the parties and child at issue. in Newark, New Jersey. 2 For the reasons set forth in this opinion, the court holds the following: