Middlesex County Child Custody Lawyer

Divorce is often a challenging experience for everyone involved, especially in marriages involving a child or multiple children from that marriage. While there are many important aspects of every divorce, most parents find that children are the most important.

An experienced Middlesex County child custody lawyer understands the importance of addressing a child’s best interests and working with families to negotiate a fair and balanced child custody plan.

Custody arrangements are unique to each divorce, and there is no single approach to them that works universally. However, there are several factors that almost all child custody issues have in common. A skilled child custody attorney could help you approach child custody issues more confidently and productively. Work with a lawyer that could fight for a positive outcome for you and your child.

Types of Custody

There are two basic divisions of child custody: physical and legal.

Legal custody involves the ability to make important decisions for a child, including those related to education and medical care. While either parent can typically make medical decisions in an emergency situation, courts may formally award joint legal custody to both parents if they can demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively and put the needs of the child first.

Physical custody, on the other hand, refers to when each parent has the child actually living with them. Joint physical custody typically refers to parenting plans where child custody is divided more or less equally. When one parent has more physical custody than the other, they are often referred to as the parent of primary residence, while the parent with less custody time is known as the parent of alternate residence.

Ideally, parents will agree to a child custody arrangement without the need for any outside intervention. When parents cannot agree, however, the court may determine a child custody arrangement based on the best interests of the child.

Factors Used to Determine Child Custody

Courts consider a number of different factors when it comes to child custody. It is not a decision a court makes lightly. New Jersey Statutes Annotated Title 9 Section 2-4(c) lists factors the court will take under consideration, including:

  • The safety of the child, including the potential for abuse from either parent
  • The needs of the child, including any special medical or other needs
  • The fitness of each parent on a mental, physical, and emotional level
  • Past denial of custody or visitation to either parent without substantiated abuse      
  • The preferences of the child, when appropriate

This is not an exhaustive list, and there might be individual factors that a court might consider based on the dynamics of an individual family. A Middlesex County child custody lawyer could work with divorcing parents to understand more about the different considerations a court might weigh based on their circumstances.

Working With a Middlesex County Child Custody Attorney

Child custody issues can be emotionally and mentally draining on everyone involved, but knowing you have an advocate to help you throughout the child custody process can mitigate those effects somewhat. A Middlesex County child custody lawyer may serve as an advocate for you and your child, as well as legal rights for both of you.

To find out more about how a Middlesex County child custody attorney could help simplify and streamline the divorce process, contact an attorney today.