Types of Custody
Child custody can be one of the most emotional and complicated issues in family law. While divorce or separation might end a romantic relationship, it does not end relationships with children. The type of custody arrangement a couple agrees upon or is decided by the court can drastically affect how parents care for their children in the future.
If you are facing child custody issues, you need compassionate advocates who can help you make good choices to ensure the well-being of your children. Bhatt Law Group has experienced family law attorneys who are well-versed in the complicated and sensitive issues surrounding custody arrangements. Having a supportive and understanding attorney by your side can help you navigate this complex area of law. Call our child custody lawyers at (201) 798-8000 for a free initial consultation.
Factors Considered by the Court
Courts want to make decisions that are in the best interest of children involved in custody disputes. Under New Jersey law that means that all children should have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after they separate. Parents are directed to share all responsibilities as well. When making custody decisions, courts must consider factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child, which include:
- The willingness of parents to agree, cooperate, and communicate in issues regarding the child
- The willingness of the parents to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time
- The relationship and interaction of the child with parents and siblings
- Any history of domestic violence
- The safety of the child and the safety of either parent from abuse by the other parent
- The child’s preferences, if he or she is old enough and has sufficient capacity for reasoning to make informed decisions
- The child’s needs
- The stability of the home environment offered
- The continuity and quality of the child’s education
- The parents’ fitness
- The geographical locations of the parents’ homes
- The extend and quality of the time the parents spent with the child before or after the separation
- The employment of the parents
- The number and age of the children
Types of Custody Arrangements
Once the court evaluates the situation of both parents and the best interest of the child, it will issue a decision regarding custody arrangements. Custody arrangements always address the following:
- Physical or Residential Custody – A child lives with the custodial parent the majority of the time. The non-custodial parent may have visitation rights.
- Legal Custody – Legal custody refers to the authority to make major decisions regarding a child’s health, education, safety, and welfare.
Custody may be granted on a “sole” or “joint” basis. Sole custody gives one parent rights and responsibilities, while joint custody indicates that both parents equally share duties. If joint custody is awarded for residential or legal custody, the court will generally determine which parent is “primary” when making relevant decisions.
An Experienced Child Custody Lawyer Can Help
Bhatt Law Group can work with you to advocate for the type of custody that you believe works best for you and your children. There are a lot of issues that may be involved, particularly if the custody issues arise in the middle of divorce proceedings. Bhatt Law Group has been helping people in contentious and emotional family law proceedings in New Jersey since 2006, and has decades of combined experience.
Contact us today to speak with one of our compassionate family law attorneys by calling (201) 798-8000 for a free initial consultation.