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Strategies to Deal with a New Jersey Custodial Parent Who Violates Parenting Time Order

Sadly, a relatively commonplace issue involved a New Jersey custodial parent who violates a parenting time order. In many of these cases, the violation is in the form of a custodial parent who fails to appropriately make a child available for a scheduled parenting time session.

There are a number of strategies that can be utilized to address an issue involving a New Jersey custodial parent who interferes with a noncustodial parent’s parenting:

  • Attempt to establish open communication
  • Keep detailed documentation
  • Seek legal advice
  • Mediation
  • File a motion (with the court)
  • Parenting coordinator
  • Parenting classes or counseling
Attempt to Establish Open Communication

Initiate a conversation with the New Jersey custodial parent in a calm and respectful manner. Clearly express your concerns about the missed parenting time and emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy co-parenting relationship for the well-being of your child. By approaching the situation with empathy and understanding, you may be able to find common ground and reach a mutually acceptable solution.

Detailed Documentation

Keeping meticulous records of any missed parenting time is crucial. The same holds true for documenting any other type of interference with scheduled or court-ordered parenting time (including tardiness in making a child available for pickup). Make sure to note the dates, times, and reasons provided by the custodial parent for not making the child available in the manner ordered by the court or contained in a parenting plan. This documentation will serve as evidence in case you need to take legal action or seek professional advice. It will also demonstrate your commitment to being involved in your child's life.

Seek Legal Advice

Consulting with a family law attorney who specializes in child custody matters is essential. They can provide you with a clear understanding of your rights as a non-custodial parent and explain the legal options available to you. A knowledgeable attorney will guide you through the process and help you navigate the complexities of the New Jersey family court system.


Consider involving a professional mediator to facilitate a conversation between you and the custodial parent. Mediation provides a neutral and structured environment where both parties can express their concerns and work towards a mutually agreeable solution. A mediator can help you find common ground, explore alternative parenting arrangements, and create a parenting plan that prioritizes the best interests of your child.

File a Motion (with the Court)

If your attempts at communication and mediation fail, you may need to take legal action by filing a motion with the court. This motion will seek to enforce your parenting time rights and ensure that the custodial parent complies with the agreed-upon parenting schedule. It is a formal and legal step that may require the assistance of your attorney to navigate the court process effectively.

Parenting Coordinator

In some cases, the court may appoint a parenting coordinator to assist in resolving conflicts and enforcing parenting time. A parenting coordinator is a neutral third party who works with both parents to facilitate effective communication, reduce conflict, and ensure that the child's best interests are protected. They can help you and the custodial parent develop strategies for co-parenting and provide guidance on resolving disputes.

Parenting Classes or Counseling

Consider attending parenting classes or counseling sessions to improve your co-parenting skills and communication. These resources can provide you with valuable tools and strategies to navigate the challenges of co-parenting with a custodial parent who is uncooperative. By enhancing your parenting skills and learning effective communication techniques, you can create a more harmonious co-parenting relationship that benefits your child.

It's important to note that these strategies are general recommendations and may vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Each situation is unique, and consulting with a legal professional will ensure that you receive personalized advice tailored to your particular situation.

Remember, the well-being and happiness of your child should always be the top priority. By employing these strategies and seeking appropriate legal guidance, you can work towards a resolution that best promotes the potential for a healthy co-parenting relationship and allows your child to thrive in a post-divorce world.

If you have any questions concerning child custody in New Jersey, call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen at (201) 845-7400 for a free consultation.

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