Divorce within a childbearing household impacts the entire family. When a couple chooses to end their relationship, the question of child custody comes into play. There are several different types of custody arrangements to be considered by a family. While some parents are able to agree to certain terms, others cannot find a common ground that is best for the child. One parent may believe that they are entitled to be a child’s primary caretaker over the other. If this is the case, you may wish to consult an attorney to assist in protecting your rights and your family.

Physical Custody

The concept of physical custody addresses who the child spends the most time with. The adult with physical custody is the one who has the child majority of the time. This is also referred to as residential custody. When awarded physical custody of a child, that individual is established as their primary caretaker. This allows them to designate the parenting times of the other parent.

Joint Custody

While it is not always the case, some parents are able to come to agreements regarding custody. In best case scenarios, parents are able to work together to reach a decision that most benefits the child. Joint physical custody allows both parents to equally divide their time with the child.

Legal Custody

While one child may spend more time with one parent, there is still a matter of influence in the child’s life. Legal custody deals with a parent’s right to be involved in the day-to-day decisions for the child. Such decisions may involve health, education, religion, and general wellbeing. There are two types of legal custody: Joint Legal Custody and Sole Legal Custody. Joint Legal Custody is when both parents have a say in decision making. Sole Legal Custody gives the decision-making rights to the primary caretaker, without the input of the other parent.

Factors to be Considered

When a child custody case comes to court, the judge always acts in the best interest of the child. There are several things to be considered when coming to this conclusion. These factors may include:

  • The stability that each parent can provide the child
  • If the parent will act in the child’s best interest
  • Whether or not parents are willing to accept custody
  • The relationship between the child and each parent
  • History of domestic abuse
  • What the child needs
  • The safety of the child
  • Each parent’s fitness
  • The geographical proximity of each parent’s home
  • The preference of the child if they are of sufficient age


If you or a family member is going through a divorce and seeking legal representation for child custody, call the Law Offices of Paone Zaleski & Murphy today.

If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.