What types of custody are awarded in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, parents are often awarded two main forms of custody: physical and legal custody. Physical custody is awarded to the parent with whom the child spends more nights of the week. This parent is mainly responsible for providing the child with basic necessities, including food, clothing, education, a stable home, etc. Legal custody gives the parent the right to make legal decisions in the child’s life, including matters of education, religion, and healthcare. In some cases, a parent will be deemed unfit to parent and will not be awarded physical custody. However, this parent will typically be awarded supervised or unsupervised visitation.
How do judges determine custody?
When making a decision about custody, a judge will consider some of the following factors:
- The parents’ ability to communicate, cooperate and agree regarding matters of the child
- The parent’s willingness to accept custody and any unwillingness to allow parenting time
- The relationship of the child with their parents and siblings
- Any history of domestic violence
- The safety of the child and the safety of one parent from another
- The preference of the child when of sufficient age
- The child’s needs
- The stability of the home environment
- The quality and continuity of the child’s education
- The fitness of both parents
- The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
- The parents’ employment responsibilities
What do New Jersey courts consider when determining visitation?
New Jersey courts will consider various factors when determining visitation time. The following are some of the most common factors courts will consider when making a decision:
- The applicant’s history with the child
- The applicant’s good faith
- If the applicant poses and sort of a risk to the child
- The relationship between the guardian or parent and the applicant
- The bond shared between the child and the applicant
- The impact of these rights on the relationship between the child and their parent or guardian
- The time that has passed since the last contact with the child and the reason behind this time
If you have any questions or concerns about child custody and visitation, reach out to our firm today.
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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.