New Jersey courts make determinations about child custody and parenting time based on both parents’ ability to care for their children at time of a hearing. When circumstances change over time, courts will hear a petition to modify an order.
In order to meet the requirements for a modification, parents must demonstrate that a material change in circumstances has taken place and that a modification would serve their children’s best interests. Here are some reasons a court may grant a custody or parenting time change.
Parents who have had a change in their employment may be unable to spend as much time with their children as they once did. Alternatively, a new job could make it possible for parents to be with their children more often and enable them to request additional parenting time.
Concerns about care
A parent who feels that his or her children are not getting adequate care from their other parent may petition for a modification. If there are legitimate concerns about a problem with children’s educational or medical needs, changes to a custody arrangement could be in children’s best interests. To obtain a modification on this basis, a parent will need to provide substantive evidence demonstrating how children are experiencing hardship.
New Jersey courts will review petitions to modify child custody or parenting time with a goal of serving children’s best interests. They may consider what works well for parents logistically, but promoting the best interests of children will always be courts’ paramount objective.