How Does Joint Custody Work in New Jersey?

woman holding hand of child

When a couple gets divorced, property division and alimony may seem like trial matters when compared to child custody. This is often the most tense issue during a divorce proceeding, as both parents likely want to see their child as much as possible. However, New Jersey courts will often award joint custody during these times. If you’re unfamiliar with what joint custody entails or why it’s so beneficial, you’ll want to keep reading. You’ll discover the answers to the questions you have regarding these matters and why it’s in your best interest to connect with New Jersey child custody attorneys during these challenging times.

What Is Joint Custody?

There are two facets to custody – who will assume physical care of the child and who has the legal rights to make decisions on their behalf. In some instances, courts will grant one parent full legal or physical custody, while splitting the other form with the other parent. However, it’s not uncommon for parents to be granted joint physical and legal custody.

Generally, joint physical custody means both parents can see the child. Most commonly, the courts will grant split custody, meaning each parent is entitled to equal time with the child. However, depending on the circumstances of the case, the custody split can be different, with the court granting one parent more physical custody time.

What Are the Benefits of This Option?

Often, the courts will try their best to grant joint custody of the child, because they believe it’s in the child’s best interest. This is because the courts believe that spending time with each parent is ideal for the child, as they should foster a relationship with each parental figure.

Not only does joint custody allow the child to have a relationship with both parents, but it helps ease the burden the parent with sole custody could feel trying to raise the child on their own. Even with financial support, being the sole disciplinarian and decision-maker can be taxing. As such, working with the child’s other parent helps create an even division of responsibilities to ensure both parents can put their best foot forward.

It’s important to note that just because the courts like to award joint custody does not mean they always do. If there are factors surrounding the case that will put the child’s best interest at risk, the courts must ensure they do everything possible to protect the well-being of the child at the center of the custody battle. As such, they may deem one parent unfit, especially if there is a history of abuse, neglect, or substance abuse issues. If this occurs, they would likely not receive any form of custody.

At Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn, we understand how vital obtaining custody of your child is. That’s why our team is dedicated to fighting for your child’s best interest to help your family adapt to the new dynamic. We will do everything possible to guide you through these complex matters. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.