Child custody can be one of the most contested and highly emotional issues in a divorce. If you are concerned about protecting your rights to maintain or share the custody of your children, it is important that you consult with a skilled Somerset County child custody attorney to ensure that your rights and your children are protected.
Over 105 Years of Combined Legal Experience
At Shimalla, Wechsler, Lepp & D'Onofrio, LLP, our experienced child custody lawyers can assist you in protecting your rights and the best interests of your children. Contact our law office in New Jersey to schedule an initial consultation.
Our attorneys are experienced with all of the following:
- Joint legal custody and sole legal custody
- Residential/physical custody
- Parenting time (visitation) schedules
- Modifications of custody arrangements
- Parental relocations (parent seeks to relocate out of New Jersey with the children)
- Grandparent rights
- Paternity law
Determining Child Custody
- Legal Custody involves the parents' rights to make decisions regarding their child's education, health care, religion, and other important aspects of the child's life. In New Jersey, there is a presumption that parties will have joint legal custody, thereby sharing in these decisions. The extent of parental involvement may vary, however. Also, in unusual circumstances, sole legal custody may be warranted. Our attorneys can help educate you regarding legal custody and help you determine arrangements that will best serve your children's needs.
- Residential or physical custody refers to where a child will actually live and how much time a child spends in each parent's home. In determining the custody of children, the courts evaluate a number of factors, including parenting strengths, parental fitness, parental availability, existing parenting arrangements, special needs, and child preferences (when children are of sufficient age). In presenting the facts and advocating for your position on the issues of custody and parenting time, your attorney is a critical asset to support your rights and protect the best interests of your children.
Mediation and Child Custody
Our attorneys are experienced in mediation both privately and through the court-mandated program. Amy Zylman Shimalla and Amy Wechsler helped to create the custody mediation program that has been in effect in Somerset County since 1995. All of our attorneys are experienced custody mediators. We are also experienced advocates in representing parties who participate in mediation to address custody issues. In all cases, whether we serve as mediators or as advocates, the best interests of the child are a priority with the attorneys at Shimalla, Wechsler, Lepp & D'Onofrio, LLP, in Warren, New Jersey.
Creation, Enforcement and Modification of Parenting Time and Custody Plans
Parenting time (or visitation) refers to the schedules when parents have physical custody of the children. Our attorneys can assist you in creating a parenting time schedule that meets the unique needs of your family, protects your rights, and serves your children's best interests. We advocate for client's rights when a parent fails to comply with an existing custody arrangement or parenting plan. Although parents fashion parenting time agreements that they believe will meet the family's needs, the needs of the family and the children may change. When an existing parenting agreement becomes unworkable or ceases to serve the children's best interests, we can represent you in connection with pursuing or opposing a modification of the existing parenting schedule, and in modifying an existing parenting schedule that no longer meets those needs.
The United States Supreme Court ruled that, in most instances a court cannot interfere with a parent's constitutional right to rear his or her children by mandating grandparent visitation. Nevertheless, there are exceptional circumstances in which grandparents can be entitled to visitation with their grandchildren. Our experienced attorneys can help you analyze your particular case and help facilitate resolution.
We Are Dedicated to Protecting the Interests of Children
Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting the interests of children in custody and parenting time matters. When you work with our attorneys on a child custody case, you can trust that we will remain mindful of your children's needs. Our attorneys Amy Zylman Shimalla, Amy Wechsler and Heidi Ann Lepp are often appointed by the court to serve as guardians ad litem or parenting coordinators, to act as fact-finders for the court or to provide on-going recommendations to the parties in difficult or high-conflict custody cases.
Contact Our New Jersey Child Visitation Lawyers
Contact our Warren Township, Somerset County New Jersey, firm by e-mail, or call 908.922.4238 today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced child custody or parenting time lawyers.
*Three of our named partners are Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Matrimonial Law Attorneys.
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