Parents who are going through a divorce often worry about the future of their children. This is because they fear missing out on time with their child due to an unfavorable custody agreement. It is because of this that it is important for parents to retain the services of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney to secure their right to see their child.
What Types of Custody Are There in New Jersey?
The law in New Jersey establishes two types of custody that a parent may obtain. This includes legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right a parent has to make important decisions about the upbringing of their child. One parent may have this or both can share it jointly. Joint legal custody allows both spouses to equally make decisions for their child. Generally, the court encourages this unless any of the following circumstances are present:
- The parents cannot effectively communicate regarding the children
- The parents’ inability to co parent together
- A lack of involvement of one parent in their child’s life
- An unwillingness of one parent to place the child’s needs before their own
- An unwillingness of one parent to make compromises about decisions regarding the child
Physical custody refers to the child’s physical location. This includes the parent they will spend the majority of their time with. In the event that two parents share joint physical custody, they can have equal time with their child. If one parent obtains sole physical custody, the child lives and spends most of their time with this parent but spends parenting time with the non-custodial parent. It is important to know that a parenting time schedule can vary depending on the case.
How Does a Judge Determine Custody?
When determining custody, the court will take many factors into consideration regarding the family in question. This can include but is not limited to the following:
- 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
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.