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Family and Relationships

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Home Page > Family and Relationships > Custody/Visitation > How to Change or Enforce a Custody/Visitation Order

I am the non-custodial parent

 

In order to ask the court to change your custody/visitation order, you must demonstrate that there has been a “change in circumstances” since the date of the most recent custody/visitation order in your case.

Listed below are some examples of changes in circumstances that a non-custodial parent might experience. Review the list to determine if you have experienced a change in circumstances.

  1. You have moved farther away from the children and because of the added time and expense you want the court to order that you and the custodial parent share the responsibility for and cost of transporting the child(ren) to and from visits.

  2. You have a new job that allows you to work fewer hours and your children have been asking to see you more often. You want more time to visit with your children.

  3. You and the children’s mother/father are arguing during the drop of and pick up for visits at her/his home and you want to change how and where the child(ren) is/are picked up before visits and dropped off after visits to avoid confrontations.

  4. You want the court order changed to direct that you are to be informed if the custodial parent travels out of the state or country with the child(ren).

  5. You want to take the child(ren) on a visit out of the state or the country and the custodial parent objects to this.

  6. The custodial parent is planning on permanently re-locating to another state or country against your wishes.

  7. You feel that the custodial parent may be neglecting, threatening or abusing the child(ren). For example:
    1. The custodial parent or a household member is physically abusing the child(ren)
    2. The custodial parent or a household member is abusing drugs or alcohol.
    3. The home of the custodial parent is unsafe.
    4. The custodial parent does not properly feed the child(ren).
    5. The custodial parent does not have an appropriate place for the child(ren) to sleep.
    6. A/the child(ren) has/have special medical needs which the custodial parent is not considering.
    7. A/the child(ren) is/are not attending school regularly.

NOTE - EMERGENCIES - If your change in circumstances is an emergency you will need to use special procedures and forms. Here are some examples of emergencies:

  1. The court order directs you to return the child(ren) to the custodial parent after a visit and you have discovered something about the custodial parent or a household member that makes it potentially unsafe for the child(ren) to be returned to him/her.

  2. An emergency requires that you go away as soon as possible and you wish to have the child(ren) come with you.

  3. The custodial parent has not provided the child(ren) for a visit and it has been over 24 hours since the visit was supposed to take place.

  4. The custodial parent is threatening to leave the state or the country with the child(ren).

NOTE - REMOVING YOUR CHILDREN FROM THE STATE

If the custodial parent wants to permanently re-locate and remove the child(ren) to another state, you need to be aware of the law concerning permanently removing children who are under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey courts from the State of New Jersey without the proper legal consent of the non-custodial parent or the court. There are specific laws which direct how and when your child(ren) can be removed from the state. There are serious legal consequences to a custodial parent who removes the children without that consent.

View more information about the subject of relocation, or removal of a child from New Jersey and choose this publication: Parenting Time: A Child’s Right- New Jersey Laws Governing Custody and Parenting Time.

Topics

    
  • I have had a change in circumstances

  • I have not had a change in circumstances

  • I need more information about emergencies

  • I need more information about removing or relocating outside of the state of New Jersey

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