Somerset County Child Custody Lawyer

Issues involving child custody can be difficult for families to sort through and deal with emotionally. For parents currently facing child custody issues, it is important that each parent is fully aware of their legal rights and options under the law.

A compassionate Somerset County child custody lawyer can work with you to help you reach a custody arrangement that is in your child’s best interests. Speak with a skilled family attorney that could work towards a positive outcome for you.

Types of Child Custody in Somerset County

Under New Jersey law, child custody includes both physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody will typically govern where the child will reside, whereas legal custody determines which parent or parents have the authorization to make important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing.

There are several types of child custody arrangements in Somerset County. These arrangements include sole legal and physical custody, joint legal custody, and shared legal and physical custody.

Sole Legal and Physical Custody

When a Somerset County court awards one parent with sole legal and physical custody over a child that means that parent will serve as the child’s residential custodial parent. All day-to-day decisions, as well as any significant decisions involving the child’s health, education, and general well-being, can be made without the non-custodial parent’s approval.

Joint Legal Custody

On the other hand, when the court chooses to award both parents with joint legal custody over a child, both parents will be responsible for making joint decisions on the child’s behalf. This applies to all significant decisions in the child’s life, including those involving health, education, and the child’s general well-being. In a typical joint legal custody scenario, the child will reside with one parent, or the primary residential custodian. This is the most common child custody arrangement.

Shared Legal and Physical Custody

The final type of child custody arrangement in Somerset County is shared legal and physical custody. It is common for parents who share legal and physical custody over a child to alternate weeks or days spent with the child evenly. This type of custody is typically most desirable as it represents an equal division of parenting time.

How Does the Court Determine Child Custody?

Courts determine child custody based on the best interests of the child. To make this determination, courts will consider several relevant factors. In accordance with N.J.S.A 9:2-4, these factors include:

  • Whether the parents can successfully co-parent with one another     
  • The individual needs of the child    
  • Each parent’s current financial state
  • The stability of the child’s home environment
  • The child’s relationship with their parents
Modification of Child Custody Arrangements

No child custody arrangement in Somerset County is final. As such, given the right circumstances, the court can modify a custody arrangement. To successfully warrant a modification, the change in circumstances that is alleged must be substantial. A substantial change in circumstances will typically include one parent’s relocation, a significant change in a parent’s employment, or a parent’s development of a drug or alcohol abuse problem. If an individual wants to know more about modification of arrangements, they should speak with a skilled Somerset County child custody arrangement lawyer.

Speaking With a Somerset County Child Custody Attorney

Determining child custody is a difficult legal obstacle for any family. Each family has unique needs that must be met, so there is no easy solution to determining child custody.

If you have questions regarding child custody or need assistance modifying an existing child custody order, contact a Somerset County child custody lawyer today.