While one of the most important agreements you will need to reach during your Morris County divorce is that of a child custody and visitation agreement, many times how child custody should be handled during the divorce itself is unclear for the parents, or in dispute.
When this is the case, either parent may file a motion for a temporary child custody hearing, causing the court to perform a court “best interest analysis” which typically results in the court awarding one parent primary child custody while also creating a visitation plan for the non-custodial parent.
But how will the courts reach this temporary custody decision, and how can temporary custody affect your final Morris County child custody agreement? Let’s take a look.
Deciding Temporary Custody during Divorce in Morris County
As previously noted, either parent involved in the divorce can request the courts to make a temporary child custody decision any time they wish for there to be clarification on the matter, or formal legal intervention. Importantly, the parent who requests the temporary custody decision is not given any favor or advantage in the temporary custody decision itself, they are merely the parent who is initiating the temporary custody proceeding.
When deciding which parent will be the custodial parent during a temporary custody hearing, the courts will perform much the same best interest analysis that they do during any child custody decision. They will examine and weigh factors such as:
- Which parent has traditionally acted as the primary caregiver of the children
- The current ability of each parent to provide for their children, examining their financial and emotional stability
- The ability of each parent to provide for any special needs or considerations the children may have
Following this analysis, the courts will typically appoint one parent as the primary custodial parent, but will also seek to find an appropriate visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent, as New Jersey courts operate on the understanding that it is in the best interests of every child to spend as much time as possible with both parents during, and after, a divorce.
How Will a Temporary Child Custody Decision Affect My Final Child Custody Agreement?
Any temporary custody decision that the court reaches during your Morris County divorce will not carry any weight when and if it becomes necessary for the court to decide your final child custody agreement.
However, a temporary custody ruling will certainly give both parents a general idea of how the courts may also decide their final child custody agreement, as the court weighs and considers many of the same factors during both of these processes.
Any time you are deciding such critical parental matters, it is important to retain the counsel of an experienced Morris County child custody attorney, especially if a temporary child custody decision during your divorce gives you cause for concern regarding a final child custody ruling.
There is no rule stating that your child custody ruling needs to be litigated in court and ultimately decided by a judge, and having an experienced attorney working for you can help you to negotiate a more acceptable child custody settlement with your spouse, without requiring a final court ruling which may or may not take into account your unique needs and concerns when it comes to your rights and role as a parent in your children’s lives.
Contact Our Morristown Temporary Custody and Child Custody Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our family law attorneys have extensive experience helping parents to fairly and successfully resolve their divorce and its related issues of child custody, child support, alimony, and marital asset division in towns across Morris County, including Chester, Chatham, Mendham, Harding, Morris Township, and Morristown.
By practicing exclusively family and divorce law, our firm can focus on providing each of our clients with the knowledgeable, effective, and attentive legal counsel that they need and deserve in matters so important to their legal, financial, and parental futures.
We believe that by listening closely to each of our client’s unique needs and concerns in any family law or divorce matter, and keeping them highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, we can better work to achieve the types of resolutions which best meets those same needs and concerns of our clients.
To speak with our attorney team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, a temporary custody decision, or a final child custody agreement, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 828-0829.