New Jersey Child Custody Attorney on Being Unhappy with Your Parenting Time Order
You’re unhappy with your current parenting time order. You’ve been divorced, and you have children. You’ve either negotiated a final custody parenting plan or a custody parenting plan was ordered after a trial. Now, you’re not happy because you miss your kids. You want to see your kids more. What can you do? The first thing I suggest is that you start keeping track – real sharp track. Whether you use pen and paper, email, a calendar, or some other method, create a meticulous log of your time and contact with your children.
The second thing to do, if you are able to and are still speaking to your spouse, tell your spouse. Do not talk to the children about this. Let me say it again, do not talk to your children and say things like, “I miss you. Daddy misses you. Mommy misses you, but I can’t see you anymore because there’s a court order that says I can only have you on every other weekend.” Don’t bring the kids into the struggle. Don’t do anything with the kids.
First, document the contact you’re currently having. Second go to your spouse, presuming your spouse will talk to you. Maybe you can say, “Hey, can I get an extra night? Can I get an extra hour? Can I get an extra dinner?” If you and your spouse don’t even speak to each other, or if you have restraining orders against each other, obviously you can’t talk to your spouse.
In that case, you may want to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey Child Custody Attorney. Don’t just pay a lawyer to fire off a letter and expect to get more time with your kids. Go through the specifics with your attorney. Go through the who, what, when, where, and why relative to your need to have more time with your children. Examine your own motives too. Are you seeking more time because you don’t like the child support number, so you want more overnights? Or, are you doing it out of a legitimate desire to co-parent that child or children, and you don’t have as much time with them as you want.
Sometimes, you’ll be in a position that requires you to bring in a therapist to evaluate the children. If you and your lawyer sit down and discuss the specifics, you may recognize some potential options. You might say, “You know what? I have the flexibility to be home at noon every day. If I’m at home when my child comes home at two, and my spouse doesn’t come home till five, why should he or she be in daycare for three hours when they could spend that time with me?” Your agreement doesn’t allow that, and your spouse tells you, basically, “Go away. I’m not going to give you the extra time.”
If something like that happens, you may want to put it in writing in an email to your spouse first or, if you can’t, go speak with your lawyer. You can also send your spouse a letter that says, “Hey, here’s a reasonable suggestion for increasing my time and the reasons why I want to do it. I’d like to talk to you about it.” If your spouse still says no, you may have to go in front of a judge. When you set out to change your parenting time, start with the data. Document everything. Then, go to your spouse. If you can’t communicate with your spouse, you may have to go to court. Regardless, do not talk to the child about these issues. Never say anything to your children that you know will be repeated to your spouse.
For example, “I would see you more, but I can’t because your mom or dad says I can’t.” Don’t put stuff like that into your child’s mind. In fact, don’t say anything negative at all, even if you want to. Just don’t do it. If you do, you’ll see it affect your child in negative ways. It will only put unfair pressure on that child and drop them into the middle of a situation that should remain between you and your spouse. Get an experienced New Jersey Child Custody Attorney and ask for their advice. We’re not shy. As lawyers, we can give you an opinion on whether or not your position is reasonable. That’s always my litmus test. I’m not a judge or a magician. All I can do is apply the law that I know to the facts of your case and make a best guess. My estimation is always based on what’s reasonable.
My stockbroker client who gets up at 5 o’clock in the morning to go into Manhattan and says he wants to drop the children off in the morning is being unreasonable because he can’t do it. My CEO woman client who works till 7 o’clock at night is not being reasonable if she thinks she’s going to be able to pick the children up after school. Having a nanny pick the children up is far different from the parent doing that herself. Be real straight. Get a New Jersey Child Custody Attorney who’s experienced and can analyze these things for you. Then, put an action plan together. By all means, get as much time with your children as you can. You have no idea how important it is to spend time with those kids, especially after the family’s gone through a divorce.
Have you grown to be unhappy with the amount of time you spend with your children? Contact dedicated New Jersey Child Custody Attorney Christopher Leon Garibian for a change in your order.
Christopher Leon Garibian, Esq. is a partner in the matrimonial and family law department of Weiner Law Group LLP. He has over 19 years of experience handling a multitude of Divorce and Family Law Matters throughout New Jersey. He is passionate about family law and takes pride in his ability to effectuate real change in the lives of his clients. He is certified by the State Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Attorney. If you are in need of an experienced Divorce Attorney or Family Law Attorney in NJ, contact us today for compassionate, long lasting legal solutions.