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Custody and Parenting Time Conditioned on Reunification Therapy

Custody and Parenting Time Conditioned on Reunification Therapy

William Iozia filed a motion for parenting time after failing to see his children for almost 2 years. Kelly Krzeckowski, the mother, entered into a consent order with Iozia calling for a custody and parenting time evaluation for both parents, reunification therapy for the father and the parties 2 children, and the possibility of a substance abuse evaluation for the father. The consent order also called for the parties to share the cost of the custody and parenting time evaluator equally. Iozia sought supervised parenting time until the evaluations could be completed and successfully completed the required substance abuse evaluation to obtain the supervised parenting time but Krzeckowski claimed the substance abuse evaluation was limited. Additionally, no reunification therapy had occurred and the parties, upon return to court, received an order reserving custody issues until reunification therapy was completed and ordering the father to pay for reunification therapy costs. After attempting reunification therapy for some time and changing therapists at the request of the mother, the situation broke down. The father sought a plan for supervised parenting to be followed by unsupervised daytime parenting and ultimately unsupervised overnights every other weekend. The mother requested another substance abuse evaluation of the father. The parties were instead ordered to comply with the prior order for reunification therapy and the father was ordered to undergo a drug screening at the mother’s expense. The court denied both parties’ counsel fees requests but included that, should either party fail to comply with the order, the non-compliant party would be responsible for the other party’s counsel fees. Krzeckowski appealed the denial of her counsel fee request and, in Iozia v. Krzeckowski, the N.J. Appellate Division upheld the decision of the court below denying counsel fees finding that the original order failed to spell out certain details relating to reunification therapy costs which could have resulted in delay without fault of either party. Child custody cases are of the most emotional and difficult cases in all of family law. If you anticipate that you may want to petition the court for to establish custody, or for a post-judgment modification of your current child custody arrangement, it is critical that you consult with an experienced family law attorney before moving forward. For more information about child custody, post-judgment modification, parenting time, divorce, child support, or other family law matters in New Jersey visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way is intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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