Child Custody Case Studies


Ex-Husband Gains Custody of Pre-Teen Child in Dispute With Ex-Wife

The father of an eleven-year-old boy had separated and divorced the boy's mother a decade earlier when the boy was an infant. The mother had decided to pursue another man whom she married after obtaining the divorce. Our client remained unmarried. The mother retained physical custody of the boy because of his infancy and the mother's homemaker role, while our client continued his professional employment as an accountant. But the mother had recently divorced her second husband, moving into another man's home with the boy. Our client's objective was to take physical custody of the boy with whom our client had a close relationship. The mother objected because of the child support she would lose. We prepared a strong case showing how our client had cared for the boy throughout his life, including attending school events, medical appointments, and religious observances with the boy. We presented witnesses and documentation to that effect at the custody hearing. We also cross-examined the mother and presented other testimony tending to show the mother's relative indifference to the boy's development. The judge ruled in our client's favor at the conclusion of the hearing, awarding our client sole physical custody. The parties shared joint legal custody. The judge further terminated our client's child support payments. The key to our success was using more than our client's own testimony to establish the favorable facts of our client's case.

Father Gains Joint Physical Custody of Teenage Children

The divorced father of two children, a girl aged fourteen and a boy aged thirteen, retained us to gain joint physical custody of both children with the mother, our client's ex-wife. Our client had agreed years earlier to the mother's sole physical custody because she was then a homemaker, while our client was employed full-time outside the home as a city manager. The mother, though, had recently taken full-time employment outside her home. The children, now teenagers, had also expressed the preference to spend more time with our client, their father, and issues with their mother working full time outside the home, including that they were often home alone after school for hours while their mother worked. Our client's employment enabled him to be done with work and at home by the time the children were out of school on most days. We prepared a thorough presentation to that effect. The mother and her attorney consented to joint physical custody at a prehearing conference when the trial judge indicated his willingness to seriously consider our client's request for joint physical custody, given the witnesses and evidence we planned to present. The agreement granted equal time in each parent's home and rescinded child support accordingly, leaving it to the parents to work out the schedule. Our client and the mother agreed that our client would have the children's physical custody on school days throughout the year, achieving our client's objectives.

Father Wins Sole Physical and Legal Custody of Child After Mother's Arrest

The father of a six-year-old boy retained us to gain sole physical and legal custody of the boy after his mother's arrest on drug and weapons charges. The father was a sales representative with a substantial income who had met the mother at a club. They had no relationship other than having had the child together. The father had entrusted the boy's care and upbringing and acknowledged paternity, and paid support until the mother's arrest. The father, who had always picked up the boy and taken the boy out or to the father's own home for visitation, had been unaware of the mother's drug issues or of the presence of weapons in the home. Police and protective services left the boy in the father's care, encouraging him to obtain the order for sole physical and legal custody that the father retained to win. Our presentation to the judge at the hearing relied on police and protective services testimony, our client's testimony, and our cross-examination of the mother. The judge granted our client's request so that our client had sole physical and legal custody. The judge acknowledged the appropriateness of reviewing the order when the mother's criminal proceeding ended. The key to our success was relying on public servants performing their duties as witnesses on our client's behalf.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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