While going through the divorce process, spouses will have to settle on compromises for marital issues. Otherwise, a judge will make the decision for them in court. Child custody arrangements are made during the divorce process. Parents want to ensure the health and safety of their child. With this in mind, they want to be as involved in their child’s life in possible. Deciding upon custody arrangements is not an easy task.

Once a parent is granted physical custody of their child, they are named as the custodial parent. The role of the custodial parent means that the child will reside with this parent on a regular basis. Based on the arrangement, they may also get to visit their other parent and stay in their home. However, wherever the custodial parent lives is the child’s main place of residence. Since the custodial parent is the one who will spend more time with the child, they may be paid child support by the other parent to support the child’s living standards.

How does legal custody differ from physical custody?

Physical and legal custody are both aspects that refer to the arrangements within a child custody agreement. While physical custody refers to the actual placement of the child in a residence with one parent, legal custody encompasses a different area. Legal custody gives parents the authority to make important decisions for the child. These decisions can be related to matters of health, education, religion and the general welfare of the child. A parent may lose physical custody but is still able to obtain legal custody.

Can I attain legal custody if I’m not the custodial parent?

Even if parents are not granted physical custody of their child, they may still be able to gain legal custody. By gaining legal custody, they can still be involved in their child’s life even without the role of being the custodial parent. With legal custody rights, parents are given the right to decide on important matters for the child’s overall well-being. Our professional attorneys encourage you to fight for legal custody even if you are not given physical custody of your child. If the child custody arrangements are not working for you and your former spouse, there is an opportunity to have them modified in the future. You can file an action with the court to bring your case to litigation. If your spouse wishes to relocate with your child, you have rights to defend your stance against this. By filing a motion, you may be able to get the court to rule against the relocation.

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.