How is Child Custody Determined in New Jersey?

Divorce has the power to affect an entire family. This is especially so if there are children involved. When this happens, parents must settle custody arrangements for their child’s future. There are some cases in which parents are able to settle matters of custody on their own. In the event that they are unable to, the issue can be settled through litigation in court. In the state of New Jersey, there are different types of custody arrangements to be considered. 

Types of Custody

Different types of custody arrangements handle separate matters and cover different parts of a child’s life. In New Jersey, the main types of custody agreements for families are as follows:

  • Physical Custody: This type of custody addresses who the child lives and spends the majority of their time with. Also referred to as residential custody, this parent is established as the main guardian or primary caretaker. 
  • Joint Custody: In best-case scenarios when dealing with custody, parents are able to work together for the benefit of the child. This type of custody allows parents to equally divide their time with their child so that they can grow up with both parents in their life. 
  • Legal Custody: It is important to know that even if a parent does not have physical custody of their child, they can still have an influence on the child’s upbringing. This is obtained through legal custody that allows a parent to be involved in making major decisions in the child’s life. This can include healthcare, education, religion, etc.

Determining Custody

In the state of New Jersey, courts are required to make custody decisions that are in the best interest of the child. This ensures that the child is placed in an environment that is good for them and not just the parent. It also allows them to have a healthy and prosperous upbringing. When making this decision, a judge considers several different factors regarding the family in question. This can include:

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

Contact our Firm

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.