You and your spouse may have your preferences regarding your child custody agreement. With this, you may be wondering whether your child has formed an opinion of their own, as well. Continue reading to learn whether your child can request a certain type of custody agreement and how one of the experienced Sussex County, Sparta child custody attorneys at Paris P. Eliades Esq. can walk you through this.
What are the different types of custody?
Before all else, you must understand the different types of child custody possibilities that the New Jersey family judge may order. They are as follows:
- Physical custody: this is assigned to the parent that the child will live with for the majority of the time.
- Joint physical custody: this is assigned if both parents work together to equally split their time with the child.
- Legal custody: this is assigned to the parent that will make the important decisions in the child’s life.
- Joint legal custody: this is assigned if both parents work together to equally have a say in important decisions in the child’s life.
- Sole custody: this is assigned if one parent is unable to work with the other parent for the best interest of the child.
What are the factors that play into a custody agreement?
When deciding on whether to grant physical custody, legal custody, or joint custody, the New Jersey family judge will look into the following factors:
- Your and your spouse’s ability to offer physical, emotional, and financial support for your child.
- Your and your spouse’s ability to establish a stable home environment for your child.
- Your and your spouse’s earning capacities.
- Your and your spouse’s relationship with your child.
- Your and your spouse’s age and health.
- Your child’s age and health.
- Your child’s special needs.
- Your child’s preference, if they are of a mature age.
Can my child request a certain type of custody?
A child cannot independently choose which parent they would like to live with until the age of 18. However, if you and your spouse are undergoing divorce proceedings while your child is under the age of 18, they still may be able to submit a request to the New Jersey family judge. The judge will take this request seriously, however, they are not obligated to follow it.
For example, say that your child has requested joint custody so that they can split their time equally between you and your spouse. However, say that the judge has determined that your spouse is parentally unfit, due to their criminal history, substance abuse, or otherwise. In this case, the judge will not follow your child’s request. Instead, they will believe that it is in the child’s best interest to order you to sole custody.
For more information, consult with one of the skilled Sparta, NJ children & parenting issues attorneys today.