Changes in a Child’s Best Interest in New Jersey

A child’s best interest can change over time.  As your child gets older and as your family and life grow with you, what your family needs may be different from how it was. You or your ex-spouse may get remarried and have other children or your child may want to live with the other parent or the other parent may have become more accessible and more available than they were before. Anything pertaining to child custody is always subject to modification as the courts are there obliged to always rule in the best interest of the child in any family law situation.

If your current custody and family situation no longer works because there have been changes in a child’s best interest, in New Jersey, you have the option to take the case to court and modify existing orders to better suit the needs of your family today.

The Process of Changing Orders Due to Child’s Best Interests

When re-determining the best interest of a child, one party must allege that there are changes in circumstances that warrant a change in custody. When parents move, the custody situation may need to change. If a parent moves far away, they may not be able to maintain the same level of involvement they had before, just as if a parent that lived far away moved closer to the primary custodial home, that parent may then be able to spend more time with their child.

There may also be changes in a parent’s employment situation. If they worked very long hours and had limited parenting time as a result, a reduction in their hours or a move to a new job could impact their ability to take care of the kid. New Jersey finds that it is best for children to have continuing and frequent contact with both parents, so if it is possible that there be greater contact with a parent that had a lesser role before, a modification may be necessary to suit the changes in a child’s best interest.

Common Issues With Altering Custody Due to Changed Best Interests

In many cases, parents who have taken a bigger role in caring for the child or who have had primary custody may not want to share that parenting time with the other parent. Many parents believe that they are the better option for the child’s welfare and will argue that consistency for the child’s living situation is beneficial.

Other parents may also claim that having the child go back and forth between their parents is not beneficial, or that the other parent has become unavailable due to work, or the needs of the child will not be met. Even if there are changes, a child’s best interest is the most important factor in child custody cases in New Jersey. It may be wise for parents to work together to try and figure out how they could best serve their child and give them the future they deserve.

How an Attorney Could Help

When there are changes in a child’s best interest in New Jersey, it may be necessary to alter existing custody, visitation, and child support arrangements. It may be wise for parents to set aside their differences and objectively analyze the situation their child is facing to work together and provide the best possible future for their child that they can.

Parents should consider all factors such as the wishes of that child, their educational and social requirements, their relationship with extended family, and the mental and physical health of both the child and the parents. The living environment and financial situation of each parent could have a massive effect on the kids’ life.

If you believe that the needs of your child has changed and existing custody, visitation, or child support orders should be changed, contact a dedicated family lawyer. Seasoned legal counsel could guide you through the process of representing your child’s best interests whether that means more extensive co-parenting and custody sharing, or if it means that you become the sole caretaker. Your child deserves to have their needs met, and a lawyer may be able to help that legally happen.

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