New Jersey Child Custody Law Firm
Custody and parenting time are often the most challenging and sensitive issues to address and resolve in a divorce. When parents are unable to agree upon where a child or children will primarily reside or an appropriate parenting plan, working with attorneys who understand the law and recognize your desires is paramount. Working with mental health experts, either as part of the evaluation process to determine what is in a child’s best interest or by assisting a client through a transition period, is both helpful and often necessary. We have vast experience working with custody and parenting time experts to accomplish the best possible result, either by agreement or presenting the matter to the Court. Contact Aronsohn Weiner Salerno & Kaufman P.C. today.
Custody Options in New Jersey
Joint Legal Custody: The most common custody arrangement is joint legal custody, which allows each parent to actively participate in major decision making for their child. Typically, with joint legal custody, one parent serves as the primary residential parent and the other parent is the parent of alternate residence. The parenting time schedule can be as open, liberal and reasonable as works for the parties and their children or as defined and structured as necessary. There are no “hard and fast” rules and an agreement should be structured to address each family’s particular needs and desires. Both parents are responsible for addressing major matters, such as health, education and the general welfare of their child. The day to day decisions are made by the primary residential parent and he/she has an obligation to confer and consult with or notify the other parent. When a child is in a parent’s care at a particular time, that parent is responsible for making decisions in the child’s best interests.
Physical Custody: Some parents agree upon joint legal and physical custody or “shared custody”, because it represents an equal (50/50) allocation of parenting time. The proximity of each parent’s residence to the other parent is an important practical consideration as well as the parent’s ability to make decisions that serve in the best interests of their children. There is no set formula or arrangement, and each case is unique based upon your particular facts and circumstances As an example only of equal parenting time, parties may consider four nights with one parent and three nights with the other parent in a week, and then the following week they do the opposite; three nights with a parent and four nights with the other parent (4-3 and 3-4). Thereafter, they continue this pattern, alternating weeks. Once again, each case has different facts and circumstances.
Sole Legal Custody: When one parent is the residential custodial parent and is responsible for making major decisions regarding a child’s health, education and welfare as well as day to day decision without having to consult, in advance, with the other parent, he/she has sole legal and physical custody. Sole legal custody is usually appropriate in matters when a parent is absent, or unfit, has substance abuse issues or has demonstrated a history of neglecting a child. This is not a common custodial arrangement in New Jersey.
Relocation Out of State
When a parent desires to move from the State of New Jersey with a child that parent must either obtain the consent of the other parent or permission from the Court by obtaining an appropriate Court Order prior to effectuating any move. The type of custodial arrangement and parenting time that exists is the starting point to assess if relocating is likely to succeed. As with all matters involving a child, the best interest standard is employed. We have extensive experience in relocation matters, representing parents who are desirous of moving, and parents who oppose it. It is critical that you select an attorney who is well versed in this ever-evolving aspect of family law.
Contact Aronsohn Weiner Salerno & Kaufman, P.C.
If you are a parent getting divorced and child custody is a contested issue, you need the guidance of a skilled, compassionate and experienced attorney. Of all the issues our clients face, child custody is probably the most significant. Our firm’s dedication to your needs can make a world of difference. For a consultation with one of our attorneys, contact Aronsohn Weiner Salerno & Kaufman P.C. to schedule a consultation.