When a couple chooses to end their marriage, the process can be difficult. Things become especially complicated when young children are involved. Often, parents have vastly differing opinions about what is best for their children. As a result, child custody can easily become one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. In order to make the best decisions regarding custody for your family, it is important to be educated about the process. Read on to learn more about child custody in New Jersey.
What are the Different Types of Custody?
The two main types of custody are physical and legal custody.
Physical custody is awarded to the parent with whom the child will reside for the majority of the time. This parent will be held mainly responsible for providing the child with stability, meals, clothing, and other necessities. In some cases, this parent will be entitled to child support. Sometimes, parents will work out an agreement in which they share physical custody equally. This is called joint physical custody.
Legal custody refers to the parent’s right to make important decisions in the life of the child. Some of these decisions may include choices regarding the child’s education, religion, and medical issues. Legal custody is not dependent on physical custody. It can be awarded to one or both parents.
In most cases, New Jersey courts believe a child benefits greatly from having some form of a relationship with both parents and will work to create a custody agreement that allows for that.
In rare cases, when a parent is deemed unfit, the fit parent will receive sole custody of the child.
How is Custody Determined?
Even in the most amicable divorces, child custody can still be a difficult subject to broach. As a result, many custody arrangements are decided by the court. In order to make this decision, the court may examine the following factors:
- The relationship between the child and each parent
- The parents’ 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 preference of the child if they are of sufficient age
- 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
Some parents are in agreement about what is best for their child and they may be able to create a child custody arrangement without the help of the court.
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.