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What Types of Custody Are Awarded in New Jersey?

When parents are going through a divorce, it can be hard to not worry about the future of their children. Often times, they have fears about missing out on their child’s life. This is because, during divorce proceedings, parents can obtain certain types of custody. With the assistance of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney, parents can right for their right to see their child and make the best decision possible regarding their custody arrangement. 

What Types of Custody Are There in New Jersey?

New Jersey law establishes two aspects of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is in regard to the influence a parent has in making important decisions regarding the upbringing of their child. This can be awarded to one parent or both of them jointly. Joint legal custody means the spouses share equally in decision making for their child. This is usually encouraged by the court unless the following circumstances are present:

  • The parents cannot effectively communicate regarding the children
  • The parents’ inability to co parent together
  • A lack of involvement of one parent in their child’s life
  • An unwillingness of one parent to place the child’s needs before their own
  • An unwillingness of one parent to make compromises about decisions regarding the child

On the other hand, physical custody refers to the child’s physical location and where they spend their time. If two parents share joint physical custody, they essentially have equal time and contact with the child. In the event of sole physical custody, the child spends the majority of their time with one parent but has parenting time with a non-custodial parent. The schedule of parenting time can vary depending on the facts of the case. 

How Does a Judge Determine Custody?

In order to determine the custody arrangement of a child, the court takes several factors of the case into consideration. This can include but is not limited to the following:

  • The parents’ ability to communicate, cooperate, and agree regarding matters of the child
  • The parents’ willingness to accept custody and any unwillingness to allow parenting time
  • The relationship of the child with their parents and siblings
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • The safety of the child and the safety of one parent from another
  • The preference of the child when of sufficient age
  • The child’s needs
  • The stability of the home environment
  • The quality and continuity of the child’s education
  • The fitness of both parents
  • The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
  • The parents’ employment responsibilities

Contact our Firm

If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.