Child Custody in New Jersey

Experiencing a divorce within a family is never easy for anyone. While the end of marriage greatly impacts all of those involved, it changes the life and future of their children. A life they once knew is now changed forever, and they are forced to adapt to a new one. While some parents are able to agree to certain custody arrangements, others have difficulty agreeing on what is best for the child. When deliberating custody arrangements, there are different types to be considered by a family.

Physical Custody

When a court awards a parent with physical custody, it means they are the individual with whom the child spends most of their time. This is often referred to as residential custody, as it dictates the child’s residency and day-to-day life. The parent with physical custody is also sometimes known as the “custodial” parent or the primary caretaker. This allows them to dictate the parenting times of the other party involved in the custody agreement.

Legal Custody

While only one parent can be awarded physical custody, it is still important for both parents to fight for legal custody of their child. Even if a parent is not present every day of their child’s life, it is crucial that they still hold influence in the important decisions of their life. Legal custody handles that aspect. It allows a parent to be involved in all decisions that are made regarding the child’s upbringing. This may consist of healthcare, academics, religion, and the welfare of the child. Sole legal custody of a child is sometimes possible, but usually rare. Courts tend to encourage both parents to be involved in their child’s life under most circumstances. Sole custody may be awarded if a parent is deemed “unfit.” This may happen if that parent does not have the child’s best interest at heart or is believed to possibly endanger them. Even in this case, the parent is still allowed limited visitation.

Factors Considered

Child care is important and not an issue what should be taken lightly. Deciding who is right to take care of a child is not easy. When a child custody case comes to court, the judge always acts in the best interest of the child. There are several things to be considered when coming to this conclusion. Some significant factors may include:

  • The bond between the child and each parent
  • The parents’ acceptance of custody
  • The child’s needs
  • The stability that each parent can provide the child
  • If the parent will act in the child’s best interest
  • History of abuse (physical, alcohol, drug)
  • The preference of the child if they are of sufficient age

Contact our Firm

If you or a family member is going through a divorce and seeking legal representation for child custody, contact the Law Offices of Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn today.

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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