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Explaining New Jersey visitation rights

The state of New Jersey encourages both parents of a child to be involved the in the child's life as much as possible. This is taken into account when a court determines child custody and visitation rights.

Visitation is granted to a parent when the other is awarded sole custody of the child. The state provides supervised visitation programs for parents who have domestic violence or other criminal charges in their backgrounds in an effort to keep both parents involved.

There are three types of visitation that New Jersey recognizes: fixed visitation, reasonable visitation and supervised visitation. In a fixed visitation case, there will be a schedule of days and hours set ahead of time for the noncustodial parent to follow.

A reasonable visitation case does not come with a fixed schedule. Instead, the visitation of the noncustodial parent occurs on days and at times when it is convenient for both parents.

Supervised visitation is granted by the court when there is a history of domestic violence or drug use by the noncustodial parent. Parenting time will be closely monitored, or supervised, by the other parent or a court official assigned to the case.

Risk assessments can be granted if the custodial parent feels that the noncustodial parent should not have visitation rights in New Jersey due to domestic violence, drug issues or due to the presence of psychiatric disorders. If the request is approved, the court will perform a risk assessment to determine what type of visitation schedule will be best for the child.

During the risk assessment each parent will be interviewed separately and each will have the opportunity to provide evidence of mental health issues, domestic violence and documents showing how the child's school and home life have been affected. Parenting time could be suspended by the court until the parent in question completes a counseling program.

Peruse our website to learn more about visitation rights in New Jersey.

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