The Bad Faith of One Parent Can Turn the Custody Table

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Parents have the right to spend time with their children and typically to participate in decisions pertaining to their well being including health, welfare and education. In situations where the parents of a child or children are divorced or were never married, a parenting plan is typically put into place, either on the consent of the parties or by the determination of the New Jersey Courts. Typically, one parent will be considered the parent of primary custody while the other the parent of alternate residence. In the vast majority of instances, both parents share legal custody. When one parent egregiously and intentionally violates the parenting plan in a continuous and systematic fashion, the Courts may determine that parent is not acting in the best interest of the child and change the custodial arrangement, perhaps grant exclusive legal custody to the other parent. Such bad faith can be demonstrated in a host of ways. In such instances the Courts may go further to direct the children and the egregious parent to participate in therapy. In coming to it's decisions, the Courts always consider the best interest of the child or children, and the parents should as well.