Couples who have children are required to settle different matters for their child during divorce proceedings. This includes custody arrangements. When establishing this issue, parents can be given physical and legal custody of their child. When a parent is given physical custody of their child, they are the custodial parent.

Responsibilities of a Custodial Parent

When a parent is given the responsibility of being a child’s custodial parent, they have many obligations. The most important priority of the custodial parent is to ensure the child has a stable upbringing. This requires the parent to provide their child with a home, food, clothing, an education, and more.

How are Custody Arrangements Made?

Divorces have the power to change lives, especially those of children. Because of this, custody arrangements are handled as a sensitive matter. When parents cannot determine custody on their own, they may go to a judge to do so. When a judge determines a custody arrangement, they are legally required to put the best interest of the child first. In doing so, the judge considers several different factors regarding the child’s needs in addition to the situation of the family. Through this process, the court works to place the child in a stable environment that allows them the best upbringing possible.

What is Legal Custody?

Physical and legal custody determine different aspects of a child’s life. Legal custody provides a parent with the right to influence in their child’s life. With this type of custody, a parent is able to have a say in the important decisions that are made throughout their child’s life. This can include matters such as education, healthcare, religious practices, and more. Even though a parent may not have physical custody, it crucial for a parent to fight for legal custody of their child.

Can Custody Arrangements Change?

When determining a custody arrangement, the judge does so with the knowledge of the family’s current situation. This allows them to make the best decision for the child at the time. However, family circumstances are subject to change over time. When this happens, an old custody arrangement may not fit the family’s new life. This is why it is possible to modify an agreement after it is established. Modifications allow parents to ask for an adjustment to fit their new situation. For example, if a parent does not follow the custody arrangement set by the judge, the other parent can file a motion to modify it.

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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