How is Child Custody Determined in New Jersey?

Custody is a decision that is not taken lightly. In fact, New Jersey courts take decisions regarding child custody very seriously. Read on to learn more about how custody is determined during a New Jersey divorce.

Types of Custody

The following types of custody may be awarded in New Jersey:

  • Physical custody: this refers to the parent with whom the child will reside the most. Whoever is awarded physical custody will have the child for more nights of the week. In some cases, parents can work together to split the time evenly. This is referred to as joint physical custody.
  • Legal custody: this refers to the parent’s right to make important decisions regarding the child. These decisions may include choices about education, religion, and medical issues. Legal custody may be awarded to one or both parents.
  • Sole custody: New Jersey courts believe that a child benefits from having a relationship with both parents. As a result, it is rare that sole custody is awarded. But, this may occur if one parent is deemed unfit to care for the child. In this case, the fit parent will receive sole custody. The unfit parent may have some form of visitation rights, either supervised or unsupervised, depending on the situation.

How is Custody Determined?

When making a decision about custody, a New Jersey judge will examine a number of factors, some of which may include:

  • The parents’ ability to communicate, cooperate, and agree regarding matters of the child
  • The parents’ willingness to accept custody and any unwillingness to allow parenting time
  • The relationship of the child with their parents and siblings
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • The safety of the child and the safety of one parent from another
  • The preference of the child when of sufficient age
  • The child’s needs
  • The stability of the home environment
  • The quality and continuity of the child’s education
  • The fitness of both parents
  • The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
  • The parents’ employment responsibilities

If you have any questions or concerns regarding child custody in New Jersey, contact our experienced firm today.

Contact our Firm

We understand that those getting a divorce most likely have several questions regarding the weeks and months to come. Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. If you are getting a divorce or have any other questions regarding divorce-related matters, please do not hesitate to contact our firm for a consultation today.