At the heart of child custody laws in New Jersey is the best interests of the children involved. Children have the right to enjoy time with both parents, provided they are safe and cared for in the appropriate manner. Many aspects of your child's care are up for negotiation during the divorce process, and when it comes to custody the issues fall into two broad categories of legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody refers to the right to make all decisions in regard to the care and safekeeping of the child. These types of decisions include educational, medical, religious. It is common for joint legal custody to be awarded, so both parents can share in the decision-making process. Legal custody can be awarded to one parent or may be shared jointly. Physical custody refers to where the child is going to live. If the child is going to spend equal time with both parents, the court will award joint physical custody. If the child is going to be in the permanent care of only one parent, the sole custody can be awarded and visitation rights can be given to the other parent. Call a New Jersey custody lawyer today so we can work on a custody plan tailored to the best care of your children.
Lastly, there is parenting time, or visitation, which is the agreed upon schedule for the child to spend time with their parents. In addition to scheduling the regular weekday and weekend calendar, holidays, vacation time, and special occasions must be negotiated for fairness and balance to the child's life.
There are many possible outcomes for both custody and parenting time. Parents may share joint legal custody, but one parent may be granted primary physical custody if the child lives with that parent more than the other. If there are disagreements about physical or legal custody, a judge in a New Jersey supreme court will make those decisions for you based on child custody laws. It is best to first work with an experienced legal team who can work for you to negotiate a plan. If you and the other parent are having difficulty agreeing on a plan for parenting time, our staff would welcome the opportunity to offer creative solutions. Please call a child custody lawyer in New Jersey today for your free consultation.
There are several factors that need to be considered when parents are making custody decisions. The relationship of the parents, the child's relationship with the parents, previous domestic violence, time that each parent can commit to taking care of the child, the amount of time a parent spends at work, and the age of children. Your final custody arrangement will be unique to your situation.
In extreme cases, there may be legitimate reasons why one parent should not be involved in the lives of his/her children. In extreme situations, you may not want the other parent to have parenting child with your child. Likewise, your spouse may feel you are not cable of caring for your children and wishes to wage war against your right to parenting time. No matter what side of this issue you are on, our child custody attorneys can help negotiate a peaceful resolution.
While child custody arrangements are negotiated during the divorce process, they can be revisited after a divorce is final to accommodate a change in circumstances of parents or the children involved.
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