Child custody is among the most frequently-contested divorce and family law-related matters, and for obvious reasons. If you are a divorcing parent, you must continue reading and speak with our knowledgeable New Jersey family law attorneys to learn more about child custody and how our firm can help you through every step of the legal process ahead. Here are some of the questions you may have:
Are there different types of child custody in New Jersey?
Yes. The two types of child custody in New Jersey are physical and legal custody. Essentially, if one parent has sole physical custody of a child, it means the child will live exclusively with that parent because physical custody deals with which parent the child lives with. Legal custody, on the other hand, gives a parent the legal authority to make certain important life decisions on behalf of the child, such as the type of religion the child practices, where the child can go to school, and the types of medical treatment the child can receive.
How do New Jersey courts determine child custody agreements?
In most cases, New Jersey courts would prefer to split joint and physical custody evenly between parents, however, this is not always the case, as their primary concern is the child’s best interests. That is why if NJ courts determine that it is not in the child’s best interests for the child to live with a parent, or that one parent should not play a role in making decisions for the child, they will award the other parent sole custody. That being said, sole custody is only awarded when the courts determine that the other parent is parentally unfit, either by exposing the child to abuse, having a substance abuse issue, or behavioral issues of that nature.
What should I do if I want to change my child custody agreement in New Jersey?
Fortunately, you can. So, for instance, if you are someone who was initially denied custody of your child due to a substance abuse issue, as long as you can prove that you have corrected the issue (received treatment, counseling, etc.) and that you are ready to be a responsible, caring parent for your child, there is a good chance that you may receive a modification to your child custody agreement. This can also work the other way, however, meaning if you are a parent who notices that your former spouse has recently developed a substance abuse issue, you can point this out to the courts to receive a modification so you can obtain sole custody to protect your child. No matter your circumstances, our firm is here to help.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
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.