How Do New Jersey Courts Determine Child Custody?

As a divorcing parent, child custody is most likely the most important divorce-related issue you will face. Please continue reading and speak with our Bergen County 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:

How Do New Jersey Courts Determine Child Custody?

What is the difference between physical and legal custody in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the two primary types of child custody are physical custody and legal custody. Essentially, physical custody deals with where your child(ren) will live, while legal custody refers to your parental authority to make certain key life decisions on behalf of your child(ren). For example, if you have legal custody of your child(ren), you have the authority and responsibility for making major decisions regarding the child(ren)’s welfare, such as where your child(ren) will go to school, the types of medical treatments your child(ren) may receive, and the religion your child(ren) will practice.

How do New Jersey courts decide on child custody terms?

Generally, New Jersey courts prefer to award custody equally between parents, provided this arrangement is in the best interests of the child(ren). However, this is not always the case. In making an award of custody, the Court will analyze several factors, some of which include:

  • the parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child(ren);
  • the parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse;
  • the interaction and relationship of the child(ren) with parents and siblings;
  • the history of domestic violence, if any;
  • the safety of the child(ren) and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent;
  • the preference of the child(ren) when of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent decision;
  • the needs of the child(ren);
  • the stability of the home environment offered;
  • the quality and continuity of the child(ren)’s education;
  • the fitness of the parents;
  • the geographical proximity of the parents’ homes;
  • the extent and quality of the time spent with the child(ren) prior to or subsequent to the separation;
  • the parents’ employment responsibilities;
  • and the age and number of children.

Can I modify my child custody agreement in New Jersey?

A child custody agreement may potentially be modified in the best interests of the child(ren) depending upon the circumstances of the case at hand. The circumstances surrounding each case are different. Thus, it is imperative that you contact our firm today to assist you.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

We understand how confusing certain legal issues can be, which is why we are dedicated to providing individuals with the compassionate, knowledgeable legal representation they deserve. Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman has helped clients with various difficult legal challenges for over 40 years, which is why we know we have the experience needed to do the same for you. For experienced legal counsel regarding family law, litigation, business law, real estate, and criminal law, you know where to turn–contact Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman today to schedule a consultation.