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Splitting up is never easy, especially when a child is involved. When two parents cannot come to an agreement in terms of child custody, the decision will be made by a judge. In most courts, including New Jersey, the determination will revolve around what is in the best interest of the child. The health and well-being of the child will always be the primary concern in a New Jersey court. There are a plethora of factors to consider when making this decision, a major one being which of the parents are able to provide a stable environment for the child to grow up in. Financial stability is important to anyone’s life, especially a growing child. This fact may concern a parent who does not make as much money as their counterpart. It should be noted that while financial stability is considered during child custody battles, it is not the deciding factor. A lot of information is examined when determining what custody arrangement will result in the best outcome for the child. If you are dealing with a child custody case, contact a Sussex County, Sparta child custody attorney to find the right representation for you.

What Factors Are Considered For Custody in New Jersey?

A variety of factors are considered to determine what environment will allow the child to thrive throughout their development, including the following.

  • Child’s age and preference
    • The older the child is, the more weight their opinion of who they want to live with will carry in court.
  • Each parent’s finances
    • Financial stability is important to determine whether a parent can provide a safe place to live, clothes, food, and any other physical needs.
  • Each parent’s health
    • Mental and physical health can be deciding factors. If a parent has severe mental health issues or an illness that would prevent them from taking care of the child full-time, they may not be awarded custody.
  • Child’s relationship with each parent
    • How present each parent has been and the relationship they have individually could impact the court’s decision.
  • Special needs
    • If the child has any special needs that require particular/additional care then custody would go to the parent most equipped to handle those needs.
  • Each parent’s background/history
    • If one parent has a history of physical or emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, substance abuse, or any similar history they will likely not be awarded custody.

How Heavily Do Courts Weigh Financial Stability When it Comes to Custody Decisions?

So will the wealthier parent get custody? The answer is not necessarily. It may end up that the parent that makes more money receives custody of the child. However, if that is the case it will not be solely because of their financial situation. New Jersey courts take child custody seriously and all of the above factors are closely examined when figuring out which parent can provide the child with the most beneficial upbringing. Either parent could be awarded custody, it depends on the total combination of characteristics and assets they possess.