New Jersey Child Custody and Child Support Attorney for Unmarried Couples
With offices in Bergen County, Schultz & Associates, LLC is a family law firm that represents non-married parents child custody and child support matters throughout New Jersey. Whether you need to establish your legal rights, enforce your former partner’s obligations, or modify a custody or support award, our attorneys are here to help.
For unmarried parents, child support and child custody matters present a number of important and unique challenges. Whether you need to establish your legal rights with respect to a newborn child, or you are leaving a long-term nonmarital relationship and have minor children, ensuring that you can stay involved in your children’s lives while they have every available opportunity to succeed is understandably high on your list of concerns.
At Schultz & Associates, LLC, we represent unmarried parents in child support and custody matters throughout New Jersey. Located in southern Bergen County, we have particular experience working with high-net-worth clients who commute across the river into New York City, though we regularly assist clients in a wide range of personal and family circumstances with their legal needs. With decades of family law experience, our attorneys are attuned to the often-complex issues facing unmarried parents, and we are committed to providing the caring, compassionate, and personalized representation our clients expect and deserve.
Establishing, Enforcing, and Modifying Child Custody and Child Support
1. Establishing Child Custody and Support Rights
In New Jersey, establishing child custody rights and child support obligations are two very different propositions.
Child Custody Arrangements for Non-Married Parents
In custody matters, the New Jersey courts assess a number of factors focused on determining the “best interests of the child.” While the parents’ wishes and those of the child (once they have reached “sufficient age and capacity to reason”) are relevant considerations, neither is determinative in reaching a child custody award. Separating parents will often have very different views of what is in their children’s “best interests,” and this can often lead to custody litigation.
Calculating Child Support in New York and New Jersey
Child support matters, on the other hand, require application of a statutory formula. As a result, while making an accurate calculation is critical, the process tends to be more straightforward than establishing custody. Of course, child support matters can – and do – end up in court, and when parents attempt to hide assets or apply the law incorrectly, this too can lead to contested proceedings.
Reaching an Amicable Resolution Among Unmarried Parents
While litigation is always a possibility, unmarried parents are frequently able to resolve their differences out of court. There are a number of strategies for negotiating parenting arrangements and financial support obligations that will meet with the court’s approval, and parents who commit themselves to the process can often save significant time and money while limiting the stress placed on themselves and their children. At Schultz & Associates, LLC, we emphasize pursuing amicable, cost-effective solutions, and we work closely with our clients to secure their desired rights as quickly as possible.
2. Enforcing Custody Rights and Child Support Obligations
If you have an existing child custody or child support order and your co-parent is failing to meet his or her obligations, we can assist you in enforcing the terms of your order. Parents have several remedies available when their co-parents violate custody and support orders, and our attorneys can take swift and aggressive action to protect your legal rights. Depending upon the circumstances at hand, we may be able to seek garnishment of your former partner’s salary or wages, enjoin him or her from relocating your child out of state, or take other legal action to enforce the terms of your parenting plan or child support payment schedule.
3. Modifying Unmarried Parents’ Child Custody and Support Awards
If you are unable to make your child support payments or your current custody arrangement no longer works with your other obligations, our attorneys can assist you in seeking an order for modification. The New Jersey family law courts will only grant modifications under limited circumstances (if there has been a “material change”), and our attorneys are experienced in demonstrating that events in our clients’ personal and professional lives warrant revisiting their original custody and support orders. If your former partner has filed a request for modification, we can represent you in seeking to preserve your existing rights as well.
Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney in Bergen County, NJ
If you would like to speak with an attorney about your situation, contact Schultz & Associates, LLC. We offer a flat-rate 90-minute initial consultation, during which we will help you understand your situation and discuss your options for securing the custody and support rights you desire. To schedule an appointment at our offices in Bergen County, New Jersey, please call 201-880-9770 or submit our online contact form today.