If you have children and you and your spouse are getting divorced, you may have a lot of questions about child custody. Read on to learn more about how child custody decisions are made in New Jersey.
Types of custody:
The first thing to understand about custody is the different types a parent may be awarded:
Physical custody: This type of custody is awarded to the parent with whom the child spends more nights of the week. This parent is mainly responsible for necessities like stable housing, clothing, education, and more. Sometimes parents work to split custody equally, and other times one parent has the child for more time.
Legal custody: This gives a parent the legal right to make important decisions in their child’s life. These decisions may involve choices about the child’s academics, religion, and health care.
How is child custody determined in New Jersey?
For the most part, a judge will make custody decisions on behalf of a couple. When making a custody decision a judge will consider the following:
- 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
Why do parents lose custody?
Generally, New Jersey courts believe that a child benefits from having a relationship with both parents. As a result, they will work to award custody to both parents. But, in some cases, a parent will be deemed unfit and he or she will lose custody. Some of the most common reasons for this include evidence of:
- Substance abuse
- Refusal to co-parent
If you have any questions or concerns about custody in New Jersey, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to speak with an experienced family law attorney.
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.