child custody

Divorce can be emotionally overwhelming for all parties involved, especially children. As such, parents must consider the best interests of their children during these challenging times. In New Jersey, there are different types of custody arrangements available. However, the custody arrangement you settle on will depend on your family. If you’re divorcing with children, connecting with our experienced Monmouth County Child Custody Attorneys is crucial; they can help you identify your needs and understand your legal options. Please continue reading to learn about the different custody arrangements and which may be the best for your family. 

What Are the Different Types of Custody in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, child custody involves two elements. The first is legal custody, which refers to a parent’s right to decide their children’s upbringing. This includes significant matters about their health care, academics, religious practices, participation in extracurricular activities, etc. The second element involves physical custody, which refers to the right of parents to live with their children and care for them daily.

Within each of those elements, two basic ways of breaking down custody arrangements are sole and joint custody. When a parent has sole legal custody of their children, they have the right to make all childcare-related decisions without consulting the other parent. Traditionally, children will also live with the custodial parent full-time. When divorced parents have joint legal custody, they share the authority to make crucial decisions regarding essential aspects of their children’s lives. With joint physical custody, the child will spend significant amounts of time with both of their parents. Shared custody doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split. Children may live primarily with one parent but spend overnights with the other.

Which Arrangement is Best for Children?

It’s crucial to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to devising child custody arrangements, as every family’s circumstances are unique. Therefore, the court will consider various factors when making its decisions. While the court generally favors joint custody, your parenting plan will be uniquely based on your children’s best interests and what is practical for your family.

Nevertheless, the court favors joint custody, allowing both parents to remain active participants in their children’s lives. The court believes that it’s in a child’s best interest to have continual contact with both parents following divorce to safeguard their overall well-being. However, since the overriding factor of the matter is the children’s best interests, the court will examine whether this arrangement would harm the child in any way. If a parent can demonstrate that such an arrangement poses a risk to the children, they may award sole custody. Moreover, in some cases, this custody arrangement is not appropriate for parents who struggle to communicate without conflict arising.

Regardless of which child custody option is suitable for your family, our Monmouth County child custody attorneys will stop at nothing to protect your rights. Contact Paone Zaleski & Muprhy today to learn how we can safeguard your child’s welfare.