Can a Child Choose Where to Live in New Jersey? | What to Know

Child custody is a delicate and complex matter. Few people understand the needs of a child better than that child himself. Children may prefer one parent’s home more than another or have a closer bond with a certain parent. As a result, he or she may express a preference when it comes to determining a custody agreement. Read on to learn more about custody arrangements in New Jersey.

Can a Child Choose Where to Live in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, there are two main types of child custody: 

  • Physical Custody
    • This is awarded to the parent with whom the child spends the majority of his or her time. The parent with physical custody is mainly responsible for providing a safe home and other necessities. If parents equally divide their parenting time, it is known as joint physical custody.
  • Legal Custody
    • This type of custody gives a parent the right to make important decisions in the child’s life. This can include matters involving the child’s health, education, religion, location, and more. Parents can be awarded legal custody even if they do not have physical custody. 

Can a child choose where to live?

In New Jersey, a judge is required to consider a child’s preference if the child is of sufficient age. There is no “sufficient” age in New Jersey.

How is custody determined?

In addition to a child’s preference, there are a number of other factors to consider. Typically, a judge will consider the following:

  • The relationship between the child and each parent
  • The parent’s willingness to accept custody
  • Any history of domestic abuse and substance abuse
  • The needs and safety of the child
  • The physical and mental health of each parent
  • The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
  • The stability that each parent can provide
  • The ability of the parent to act in their child’s best interests
  • The work schedule and lifestyle of each parent

If you have any questions or concerns about child custody in New Jersey, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to discuss your options with an experienced family law attorney.

Contact our Firm

We understand how emotional and difficult matters of family law can be. If you need the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney to help protect your right to your family, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced firm. We are eager and dedicated to helping you through this difficult time. Our personal injury specialists at Greenberg & Walden, LLC are standing by for a free initial consultation. Call us at 201-528-6928

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