Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Child custody -- litigation as a last resort

Negotiation is often one of the best ways for parties to reach a mutually agreeable resolution to a problem. This is especially true in child custody issues. Most parents in the midst of a divorce dread the possibility of litigation to decide issues surrounding the custody of the children born from the marriage.

Unfortunately, it may not always be possible for New Jersey parents to reach an agreement through negotiation or some form of alternative dispute resolution. Litigation may be the only way to settle the dispute. In such cases, the parties involved may benefit from following a few guidelines. Firstly, like in most aspects of life, education is the key to understanding the proceedings involved, the relevant state laws and current trends.

Secondly, it may be beneficial to obtain an objective perspective on the matter at hand and to prepare well. Talking to other people who have gone through the same situation, as well as legal experts, may prepare one for what lies ahead. While a lawyer's role is to file the needed papers and explain what preparations are necessary, there are things the parties involved will want to do. These include extensively documenting all possible activities and other evidence which can help prove one's commitment to the children.

Lastly, there are certain common mistakes to avoid, such as fights with the other parent, avoiding any incidents which can create a negative image and refraining from telling lies about the other spouse. While a New Jersey lawyer can guide one through the litigation process, staying focused on what will be best for the children may make things easier. Even child custody litigation can have a positive outcome, particularly if both parents focus more on the love they share for their children and less on personal differences.

Source:, "Litigation and Custody", Stacy Taylor, Accessed on Dec. 20, 2017

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