Parental Visitation Rights in New Jersey

By Elizabeth Rayne

Public policy in New Jersey holds that both parents should be regularly involved in their child's life. When one parent has sole custody of the child, the other parent is usually granted visitation. Even in cases where domestic violence or mental health issues are present, New Jersey offers supervised visitation programs to ensure children still have contact with both parents.

Public policy in New Jersey holds that both parents should be regularly involved in their child's life. When one parent has sole custody of the child, the other parent is usually granted visitation. Even in cases where domestic violence or mental health issues are present, New Jersey offers supervised visitation programs to ensure children still have contact with both parents.

Overview

In New Jersey, as in most states, the court determines custody and visitation arrangements based on what is in the best interests of the child. The court will assume it is in the best interests of the child to spend time with both parents, except for in rare cases where there is evidence that the child would be in danger. The parents may agree on a visitation schedule and submit the schedule to the court for approval. However, if the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will determine the schedule based on what is in the best interests of the child.

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Types of Visitation

Depending on the circumstances of a particular case, the court may grant reasonable visitation, fixed visitation or supervised visitation. With reasonable visitation, the parents do not have a set schedule; instead, parenting time occurs whenever it is reasonable for both parties. Conversely, a fixed schedule provides specific times on specific days that the noncustodial parent will spend with the children. In cases of domestic violence or drug use, the court may order supervised visitation, which requires a professional or close relative to monitor parenting time.

Risk Assessment

In cases where a parent believes that it would not be safe for the other parent to have visitation, such as in cases of domestic violence or psychiatric disorders, either parent may request a risk assessment. A risk assessment gives the court the opportunity to determine the best visitation arrangement for the child. A professional will interview each parent separately. Each parent will have the opportunity to present evidence of domestic violence, mental health problems and documentation showing how the child has been affected, including school or counseling records. The court will review the risk assessment, and may designate a supervisor for parenting time. The court may also suspend parenting time until the parent completes a counseling program.

Supervised Visitation

New Jersey has a supervised visitation program, which allows a parent to spend time with his child in a neutral and safe setting. This gives the parent an opportunity to reconnect and reestablish a relationship with his child, free from interference from the other parent. At the same time, the visit is supervised by trained volunteers to ensure it is a safe environment for the child. State-approved visitation providers are available throughout the state for parents with court-ordered supervised parenting time.

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Kansas Visitation Laws

Frequent and continuing contact between a child and both of his parents is of great importance after divorce. This contact is known as visitation in Kansas, and knowing what your rights are as a parent will help ensure your relationship with your child continues after divorce. However, in some cases, the courts will limit a child's contact with one or both parents to ensure the safety and welfare of the child.

Primary Parent Divorce Laws of Illinois

In Illinois, both parents have the right to spend time with their children following a divorce. However, it is common for one parent to have primary or residential custody, while the other parent has visitation rights. In order to avoid penalties from the court, the residential parent should be careful to follow the visitation order.

The Best Interest of Children in a Custody Evaluation

Understanding the needs of a child is a crucial component to making an informed custody decision. Custody matters are governed by state law; however, every state requires courts to promote the best interests of the child. When parents can work together, a judge is generally inclined to conclude that the parents' agreed upon parenting proposal serves the best interests of the child. If parents cannot agree, the court must make its own determination. In these instances, neutral custody evaluations are often used to provide judges with an opinion from a qualified professional as to what arrangement promotes the best interests of the child.

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