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Protecting Children in Divorce

New Jersey Child Custody Lawyer

Children are inevitably affected when their parents separate. Whenever possible, children should be shielded from the adversarial aspects of divorce. Attorney Margaret E. Padovano makes sure that these difficult and delicate issues are handled with sensitivity and compassion.

Counseling parents about parenting plans and custody

In ruling on custody or approving a parenting plan, the court is solely concerned with the best interests of the child. Her years of experience allow Ms. Padovano to advise clients about the court’s likely ruling in child custody matters. Working with clients, Ms. Padovano drafts parenting plans that are in the best interests of the children and promote good relationships with each parent.

Her West Orange, New Jersey law firm represents clients from northern and central New Jersey in custody-related matters such as:

  • Child support
  • Modifications and relocation petitions
  • Determining where the child will live
  • Working out the specifics of parenting plans

Creative solutions for custody problems

New Jersey law requires mediation when custody is disputed; if no agreement is reached, litigation is the next step. Ms. Padovano counsels clients about possible solutions during informal negotiations, mediation and trial while ensuring that parental rights and the child’s best interests are protected and preserved.

Legal custody

Most divorces involving children result in the parents sharing joint legal custody, meaning that parents are jointly responsible for decisions about health, education, and religious instruction. However, when one parent has issues such as substance abuse or psychological problems, the other parent may be awarded sole legal custody.

Physical custody

A typical custody arrangement is one where the child resides with the parent of primary residence, and the parent of alternate residence enjoys parenting time on a fixed or flexible schedule.

Shared Parenting is another arrangement, where a child spends equal time with each parent.

Sole physical custody is granted in a few cases where, for example, the court determines that the non-custodial parent’s conduct or history raises concerns about his or her parenting skills or ability to communicate with the other parent in spirit of cooperation.

Parenting plans / visitation schedule

Custody arrangements determine the visitation schedule, also known as a parenting plan. The goal of a parenting plan is to promote the child’s continuing relationship with each parent. On behalf of her clients, Attorney Padovano negotiates the specifics of the plan, such as pick-up and drop-off, midweek transitions, weekends, holidays, summer vacation, and school activities.

Protecting children from the consequences of divorce

In developing child custody arrangements and parenting plan schedules, Ms. Padovano’s goal is to protect the child as much as possible from the trauma of divorce. She assists in finding common ground whenever possible.

Whether custody and visitation matters can be resolved through mediation or require a trial, Attorney Padovano vigorously defends her client’s rights and the best interests of their children. Contact her West Orange, New Jersey, office to learn how she can use her experience, skill, and expertise to assist you with these difficult issues.