Custody Without Orders in New Jersey

Often one of the largest concerns in any divorce and one of the most common family law issues is the custody of children. Usually, custody will be determined by a judge based on the child’s best interests and the arrangement will be memorialized in court. However, in certain instances, there may not be court orders yet whether there has not been enough time to take the matter to court, or the parents have chosen not to. If you have questions about custody sharing arrangements but the court has not ruled yet or issued temporary custody, or as a parent you simply do not want a custody order, a seasoned child custody lawyer could help explain your rights as a parent and clarify custody without orders in New Jersey.

Defining a Custody Order

In New Jersey, a custody order defines the terms, rights, and responsibilities regarding the custody of a child, as approved by a court. Once there is a legal custody agreement, any deviation from the codified agreement could be enforced by the court. Without an agreement, parents or other family may not have the right to challenge another party’s taking of custody of the child against their wishes.

There is not set time period in which petitions for custody orders must be filed, and the orders can be pursued at any time by any party with a vested interest in the child. Accordingly, these orders are not permanent and may be subject to change at the petition of another custodial party, or when there has been a significant change in circumstances for the child or family. Altering these orders will require a judge to change the order or issue a superseding order.

Parents have the right to retain custody without court orders in New Jersey, as these orders are not mandatory. However, they could be requested by any involved party. Once they are in effect, they must be followed.

Who Gets Custody When There is No Court Order?

A situation in which there is no court order is called de facto custody, and the custody should be shared. If the children are living with one person and the other party barely sees them, this is likely only conscionable if there is a corresponding order from the court. If there is no court order, each has equal rights to custody of the child. If one party prevents the other from seeing the child, there may be grounds for taking legal action, and the parent being denied visitation should consult with an experienced family attorney to protect their rights.

Just as both parents should have a right to custody of the child when there are no orders in New Jersey, both parents are responsible for paying child support. Unless there is an order stating otherwise, they would be in violation.

Let a New Jersey Attorney Help With Your Custody Orders

Even if it is not mandatory, having a court custody order could be useful because everybody knows what their rights and responsibilities are. The children will know where they are going to be on which days. It makes for a smoother relationship, because when there are too many questions or uncertainty, it does not give everybody the assurances they need.

A New Jersey attorney could help you set forth your position and best interest during custody negotiation. If you have concerns about custody without orders in New Jersey, it may be necessary to hire a family attorney to negotiate for your rights and pursue a court order that could provide structure to your new family arrangement. Call a lawyer today to start working on your custody issues.

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