MEETING OPTIONS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS: The Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen understands your concerns regarding the spread of the Coronavirus, and now offers different meeting options to our clients and those seeking legal representation. All meetings, including initial consultations, can be handled either through the phone, FaceTime, Zoom, or in person.

Material Changes of Circumstances

Children need consistency and a sense of permanence in their lives. This particularly is the case when children have been through the upheavals associated with the divorce of their parents.

Because of these realities, child custody orders are intended to provide a sense of stability in the lives of children. Designed to meet the best interests of children, custody orders cannot be altered or amended on a whim. The laws in all states require a significant alteration in the circumstances surrounding a child custody order to warrant making a change. Most jurisdictions refer to this as a material change of circumstances. If you have a situation in which there has been a material change of circumstances, you should consult a NJ child custody attorney.

Definition of Material Change of Circumstances Under NJ Child Custody Laws

A material change of circumstances is an alteration in the facts and conditions associated with a custodial scheme or arrangement so significant that the existing plan no longer satisfies the best interests of the child. Minor issues associated with a custodial arrangement simply do not rise to the level of a material change warranting an alteration in the custody scheme, nor does a combination of minor issues. Determining whether a material change of circumstances has occurred requires a close examination of the facts of a particular case. There is no single evaluation that can be applied to all cases in which changing custody is an issue.

Examples of Material Change of Circumstances Under Child Custody Laws in NJ

Examples of material change of circumstances abound. A common example involves a situation in which the custodial parent experiences a profound life change that renders appropriately caring for children difficult if not impossible. A parent who develops a serious health condition or an addiction to mind-altering substances presents such an example. If the custodial parent desires to move out of state with the minor children, an argument could be formulated that this constitutes a material change of circumstances. There are situations in which a parent initially is granted custody of children because one parent is deemed unable to care for them at that juncture in time. In such a scenario, if the noncustodial parent's situation improves, that adjustment may be deemed a material change of circumstances justifying an amendment of an existing custody order.

Changing custody of minor children is a challenging endeavor, especially when trying to justify the change based on a subjective definition of a material change of circumstances. For this reason, a person interested in pursuing this type of change is encouraged to seek the assistance of an experienced NJ child custody attorney.

The Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen offers a free initial consultation. Mr. Van Aulen has been a divorce and family lawyer for over twenty-three years. Peter Van Aulen is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a matrimonial attorney. This certification has only been granted to a small percentage of New Jersey attorneys. If you have a child custody issue, call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen today at 201-845-7400 for a consultation with a New Jersey child custody attorney.

Client Reviews
Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
Our cousin used Peter's law office to help with a sticky custody situation. He was extremely responsive, very nice and most importantly did an awesome job with the court! He is awesome. Lawrence Polsky

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