How To Enforce A Parenting Time Order In A New Jersey Divorce Case

Issues pertaining to children represent some of the most contentious elements of many divorce cases in the United States each year. Indeed, issues regarding money and children top the list of challenging matters in divorce cases. If you are having difficulty with these issues you should consult an experienced NJ custody and divorce lawyer.   

During divorce proceedings, the court ultimately issues a custody order. Not only does a custody order establish which parent will possess primary responsibility for any minor children, it also sets forth the parameters for parenting time with the noncustodial parent.

Parenting time is the term of art utilized in most jurisdictions in this day and age for the time a noncustodial parent spends with the minor children. Parenting time replaces visitation. Parenting time was selected as a replacement for visitation based on the premise that a noncustodial parent should not be relegated to being merely a visitor in the life of his or her children.

Unfortunately, there are instances in which the custodial parent fails to honor the terms of a divorce decree as it pertains to parenting time. A custodial parent interferes with the noncustodial parent's ability to enjoy court-ordered parenting time with the children. In such instances, there are specific steps a noncustodial parent takes in order to enforce his or her rights to appropriate parenting time with the children.

Motion to Enforce a NJ Parenting Time Order

The process for enforcing an existing parenting time order commences when the non-custodial parent files a motion to enforce with the court that issued the original custody degree.It is wise to use an experienced NJ custody lawyer to file the same. The motion typically seeks not only an order from the court directing the custodial parent to comply with the existing parenting time schedule but also sanctions. Sanctions can include everything from an award of attorney fees and costs assessed against the offending parent to a finding that the custodial parent is in contempt of court. In some cases, a court is capable of ordering a change of custody. The type of sanctions imposed by the court depends on the nature and extent of a custodial parent's interference with the parenting time of the other parent. If the problem of the custodial parent's interference with parenting time is extensive and repetitive or continuous, the level of sanctions imposed by the court can be significant.

Hearing on Parenting Time Issues

Once a motion is on file with the court, a judge may schedule the matter for a hearing. At a hearing, both parents are able to present evidence and testimony regarding the contention that the parenting time order is not being followed.

Summary

Courts take a dim view of a primary custodian of a minor child who interferes with the parenting time rights of the other parent. This stems from the underlying principle that it is in the best interests of a minor child to have strong relationships with both parents.

The Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen has years of experience in regard to enforcing New Jersey parenting time orders. If you have any questions concerning the enforcement of a parenting time order, call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen at (201) 845-7400 for a free consultation with a NJ custody lawyer.

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*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances