mother holding children

It is important to understand all the aspects of how child custody is determined in the state of New Jersey to achieve the best outcome for you and your child. Read more about the different types of custody and how our experienced Morristown child custody lawyers at Graves Andrews, LLC can assist you in your upcoming legal process.

What is joint custody?

Joint custody is an agreement where both parents share custody. This is a favorable option for New Jersey courts because it is the route that alters the child’s life as little as possible. However, if one parent proves to be unfit in any way, New Jersey courts may grant the other parent sole custody.

Physical Custody vs. Legal Custody

Physical custody refers to which parent the child will live with for the majority of the time. Meanwhile, legal custody gives a parent the authority to make critical life decisions on behalf of a child, including those involving education, religion, healthcare, and more.

Will I get custody of my child?

The court will examine the following factors when determining child custody, along with any other factor they deem relevant:

  • Who the primary caregiver has been, and if there is a reason for the primary caregiver to change.
  • The physical and mental ability of each parent to act as a guardian.
  • The needs of the child.
  • Any history of domestic violence, drug abuse, or alcohol abuse.
  • The bond they have with both parents.
  • The preference of the child, if of sufficient age.

Can I modify my child custody agreement?

If the lives of the parents and their child change significantly, a custody modification is in order. Some examples that call for a modification include the following:

  • The child’s schedule has changed.
  • The child’s needs have changed.
  • One parent developed a substance abuse issue.
  • One parent exposed the child to an incident of domestic violence.
  • One parent proves himself or herself to be an unfit parent.
  • The child is now of sufficient age and can voice his or her preference.

Notably, if you were not initially granted custody of your child, a Morristown family law attorney can assist you in requesting a modification to obtain at least partial custody so long as you can prove that it will be in your child’s best interest.

Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Firm

Graves Andrews, LLC is an experienced Morris County family law & criminal defense law firm serving all of New Jersey. Contact Graves Andrews, LLC to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about our services and how we can assist you. Reach out to our experienced attorneys today to get started.