Monmouth County Physical Custody Lawyer

Parents have an obligation to care for their children including providing food, clothing, and education. When parents are married or in a relationship, there is often no question that both parents are providing some form of support for the child or children. However, when a relationship ends, there is often a bitter dispute over who will have custody of a child or children.

Parents who are going through a divorce or through a separation may be confused by all the terms used in the court, and while physical custody may be a simple term, it is important for a parent to understand the impact this term and this custody arrangement can have on their family.

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce or is going through a separation and has questions about physical custody, contact a Monmouth physical custody lawyer today to discuss your case. A knowledgeable family lawyer in Monmouth County can help you legally navigate your claim.

Understanding Physical Custody

In most cases where custody is being divided between parents, the court is inclined to enter a joint custody agreement. The definition of joint legal custody has been defined in Pascale v. Pascale, 140 N.J. 583 (1995).

In that matter, the court established that joint legal custody is defined as "authority in responsibility for making major decisions regarding the child's welfare." This responsibility and authority is shared equally in a joint legal custodian relationship.

There are two overall categories of custody. The first is legal custody, where a parent has the authority to make legal decisions affecting the child such as healthcare decisions, education, and even religious upbringing.

The second overall category for custody is called physical custody. This type of custody was described in the case of Beck v. Beck, 86 N.J. 480, 487 (1981) and refers to a parent's ability to make the day-to-day decisions over a child. In these cases, the court will consider the following when determining whether a parent should have physical custody or joint physical custody:

  • Financial status of the parents
  • The proximity of their respective homes
  • The demands of parental employment, and the age and number of the children

To best understand such matters, an individual should not hesitate before contacting a Monmouth County physical custody attorney.

Making Custody Decisions

New Jersey family law judges will take into consideration a variety of factors in a child custody case. However, behind each of these factors is the all-important Best Interest of the Child standard.

This means that the judge will consider what is in the child’s best interest, and what is best overall for the child or children’s welfare. The judge will also consider some of the following factors before they will issue a physical custody order:

  • Proposed custody and parenting time – The judge will consider whether or not the parents have agreed to any custody orders between themselves and will also consider the proposed parenting time in that order.
  • Any verified pattern of domestic violence – The judge will assess whether either of the parents and or the children have any domestic violence complaints or any restraining orders against them before they issue a physical custody award.
  • The parents’ relationship – In some cases parents are willing to work closely with each other for the best interest of the child, however, in other cases the judge will have to determine how willing the parties are to work together and what it the probability that the parties will be able to maintain an open and honest dialogue about their child.
  • Family dynamics – It is important for the judge to look at how the family functions as a whole. The judge will also consider whether there are other children in the house and the relationship between them.
  • Geography – Where the parents live is also important for a physical custody determination. In some cases, a parent may live down the street or across town, which makes sharing physical custody over the child rather easy. However, in some cases, the parent will live across the country, or in another state, which can make it more difficult for a parent to share physical custody over their child.

A judge can consider many other factors when they are determining what is in the best interests of the child. However, the judge will always be concerned with what is the best overall outcome for the child and what environment will be the least disruptive for them.

To be prepared for such proceedings, a person must contact a physical custody lawyer in Monmouth County as soon as possible.

Contact an Attorney

If you have questions or concerns about physical custody or any child custody matters, contact an experienced Monmouth County physical custody lawyer.

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