Custody & Visitation

Randolph, NJ child custody and visitation attorneys helping parents maintain relationships with their children in Roxbury, Chester, Mt. Olive and Hopatcong

New Jersey Child Custody and Visitation Attorney

Child custody and visitation are the most difficult areas of divorce and often highly contested.


Types of Custody

Legal Custody- The right to participate in major decisions affecting the children’s development.

Physical Custody- The party responsible for the children on a daily basis and with whom the children will primarily reside.

Shared Custody- Both parties share jointly in residential custody of the children on an alternating basis.

Sole Custody- One parent is the parent of primary residence and the other parent exercises parenting time (visitation) on a scheduled basis.

Mediation and Collaboration

Often having the children’s best interests at heart parents are unwilling to concede regarding custody, believing the children are better off with them.   It is important for the parties to realize that working together collaboratively will serve the best interests of the children as well as their own interests.  Parents should strive to reach an agreement on their own that best suits their lifestyles.  If the parties cannot reach a custody agreement on their own, they will attend mandatory mediation.  If mediation does not resolve the custody issues, the parties will undergo a custody assessment.

 Best Interests of the Children

At Heather J. Darling, Esq., LLC, we always strive to negotiate matters of custody and visitation rather than subjecting the children and parties to critical evaluations by Court appointed experts.  If custody is contested the Court will apply a “best interest” standard and base the custody award on where the evidence shows the children will benefit most.  There is no automatic preference for custody with the mother over the father.  Custody matters often revolve around specifics and details making it important to qualify and quantify the relationship between the parent and child.  Because this is such an important matter, we prepare our clients for court ordered investigations by explaining the value of daily notebooks regarding parenting activities such as bathing, dressing, homework and transportation schedules.  We prepare our clients for home investigations, psychological evaluations, substance abuse evaluations and advise them what to expect at trial.

Frequent Custody and Visitation Concerns

  • Primary Custody
  • Parenting Schedules
  • Vacation Schedules
  • Decisions about education, healthcare and after-school activities
  • Relocation out of state or out of the country
  • Unfit parents
  • Unmarried parents
  • Incarcerated parents

Post-Judgment Modifications in Child Custody and Parenting Time

Circumstances in the lives of the children and parties often change as the children grow and the parties move on to new relationships.  We can assist you in parent relocation, interference with custody or visitation and post-divorce modification of agreements.

Resolving Custody Issues Throughout Northern, NJ

Heather J. Darling, Esq., LLC has offices in Morris and Bergen County, New Jersey.  We regularly practice law in the counties of Morris, Bergen, Passaic and Sussex.  We work with a wide range of clients — married, unmarried and those dissolving same sex relationships.

If you are visiting this webpage, now is the time to call 973-584-6200 or click here to e-mail us” today to schedule an initial consultation and protect your rights.  If you are unable to visit our offices, for your convenience we are willing to schedule telephone conferences with payment by credit card or Paypal at or before the time of service.


Forms of payment accepted:  Cash, check, traveler’s check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, money order and Paypal.