Child Custody in the State of New Jersey law is determined by a judge based on an analysis of the child’s “best interests”. Normally, divorce court judges prefer joint custody legal custody, where parents share the major decisions involving the life of the minor child(ren), and one parent is deemed the parent of primary residence.
There are two types of custody in the State of New Jersey:
Physical custody refers to the amount of time each parent is permitted physically with a child. This may be sole, primary, or joint physical custody. Physical custody is often the most debated and sought after issue of a divorce. This decision dictates where the children mainly live which affects the amount of time the child spends with either parent. The parent that is awarded the parent of primary residence will most likely also receive child support.
Legal custody is the decision-making rights of the parent in regards to the child’s health, education, and welfare. If a parent is not awarded physical custody, they will often still be awarded joint legal custody. Only in rare circumstances, given sufficient reason, are parents not awarded joint legal custody.
According to New Jersey law, there are factors judges must use, but are not limited to, when considering child custody. Some other factors not listed are the child’s wishes, each parent’s prior parenting role, the future foreseeable situation of each parent, and the present behaviors and demeanor of each party throughout the process. Negative behaviors seen by or presented to the judge can affect the outcome.
Factors Considered for Child Custody*:
*Based on New Jersey Divorce Statutes 9:2-4
Hiring an attorney early in the process of a divorce will help you protect your interests as best as possible and also give you clarity and transparency about child custody proceedings. Custody may be determined even if parties have never been married.
If you would like to discuss a custody issue, you can contact us at 877-580-2200, use the form at the right, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org