Divorce is never easy. As you moved forward through the process of dissolving your marriage, you took care and time to determine a co-parenting plan based on your children's needs – and you and your ex-partner's capabilities. But what happens when circumstances change, like in the case of a prolonged illness or injury?
As the COVID-19 pandemic taught us, life can change in an instant – and, with it, how we live our day-to-day lives. A global pandemic, a life-altering diagnosis like cancer or a neurological condition, a car accident, or an on-the-job injury – all of these things could lead to prolonged illness or disability. They can also, unfortunately, alter one's ability to parent in the same way they did before.
There's no denying that a prolonged illness or injury could alter what's best for your kids. But does either scenario have the power to automatically call for a reassessment of your co-parenting plan?
What's Best for the Child(ren)
As you and your ex developed your co-parenting plan, your attorney likely told you that the court will always put the needs of your children first. It's as it should be. Every decision about custodial arrangements should always consider the best interests of the child above all else.
In the state of New Jersey, your parenting rights or co-parenting arrangement will not be automatically reassessed if you are diagnosed with an illness or disability. Any re-assessment would require someone to petition the court on your children's behalf. This could happen if your ex-spouse requests a change to custody. It could also happen if a state agency, like the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency, steps forward to suggest the status quo may not be in the best interest of your child(ren) – like in the case of someone suggesting there may be neglect or some other ongoing issue affecting your children.
If you are served notice that your custodial arrangement will return to court, it's important to have the right counsel by your side. Again, any determination by the judge will be made based on what's best for your kids – and, often, even in the case of injury or illness, the kids are better off right where they are.
You Have Rights As A Parent
If you have received notice that your co-parenting agreement is being reassessed by the family courts, there's no time to lose. You are likely angry – perhaps even frightened – on top of whatever health issue you are dealing with. That's why it's so important to have an experienced attorney that is well-versed in the state's laws by your side to protect your rights and help you get the best outcome in court.
When you retain attorney Joseph D. Lento and his criminal defense team at the Lento Law Firm, you are in a better position to get a good outcome – and ensure what's best for your children will stay at the forefront of any decisions about custody. Contact Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm today to discuss your case at (888) 535-3686 today.