How is child custody determined in New Jersey?

We understand that no parent wants to lose valuable time with their child. It is important to understand all the aspects of how custody is determined in New Jersey to achieve the best outcome for you and your child. Reach out to our experienced family law attorney today to learn how we can assist you and your upcoming legal process. Continue reading to answer any questions you may have regarding child custody.

How can I get custody of my child?

Custody issues in New Jersey will first attempt resolution through child custody mediation with hopes to arise at an appropriate custody agreement without the need for litigation. You will first attend a New Jersey Parent’s Education Program with the child’s other parent before pursuing mediation. This will provide information about childhood transitions through divorce or separation as well as alternative dispute resolutions for custody issues. If you are unable to reach an agreement in child custody mediation, you will proceed to a custody hearing during court. The outcome of this hearing will be determined by a judge.

What is joint custody?

New Jersey courts will grant joint custody commonly when parents cannot agree on custody terms. This is a favorable option to courts because it is the route that alters the child’s life as little as possible. Joint custody is an agreement where both parents share custody. However, if one parent proves to be unfit in any way, New Jersey courts may grant the other parent sole custody.

What is the difference between physical and legal custody?

Physical custody refers to where the child primarily resides. Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make important decisions for the child on their behalf. Examples of legal custody include making decisions regarding what religion the child practices, where they go to get an education, and decisions regarding medical treatments.

What do New Jersey courts consider when determining child custody?

New Jersey courts will take into consideration the following factors when determining child custody:

  • The child’s age
  • The bond they have with both parents
  • Who their primary caregiver has been
  • If there is a reason for the primary caregiver to change (or not change)
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • The needs of the child
  • The ability of each parent to act as a guardian

Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Firm

If you require legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact Graves Andrews, LLC to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about our services and how we can assist your upcoming legal process. Reach out to our experienced attorneys today to get started.