New Jersey Child Custody Arrangements
When considering your New Jersey child custody options, it is important to recognize that NJ child custody arrangements generally consist of two parts:
1.Where your child will reside/spend time
2.Decision making as to how your child will be raised and cared for
Since each part addresses a different concern, the New Jersey child custody laws offer different options depending on the specifics of your family situation. Distinguishing between these New Jersey child custody options and educating yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of each is essential. This is especially true if you are looking to establish an arrangement both you and your family can live with well into the future.
New Jersey Child Custody Options
Joint Legal Custody—This type of NJ child custody arrangement is the most common since it allows both parents to actively participate in their child's life. Typically, with joint legal custody, one parent serves as the primary residential custodian for the child, and the other parent serves as the alternate. In joint legal custody situations, both parents are responsible for making joint decisions for their children on major issues such as health, education, and general welfare. The primary custodial parent is responsible for day to day decisions and should consult with or notify the non-custodial parent when appropriate. The parent who has the child in his or her care at any given time is expected to make decisions that are in the child's best interest.
Sole Legal and Physical Custody—In this type of NJ child custody arrangement, one parent serves as the residential custodial parent. That parent makes all of the major decisions regarding the child (health, education, and welfare), as well as all day-to-day decisions without the need to consult with or notify the noncustodial parent. Sole custody is usually applied in cases where one parent is deemed to be absent or unfit or in cases where there is a history of child neglect, drug addiction, substantiated DYFS matters, etc.
Shared Legal and Physical Custody—Many New Jersey parents desire this shared child custody arrangement because it represents a more equal division of parenting time. A typical example would be alternating weeks, where one parent has one week with the child and the other parent has the next. An alternative could be a schedule where one parent has four days with the child including overnights, while the other parent has three days with the child including overnights.
Finding the Best Option
Since NJ child custody issues can be emotionally trying, the Mediators will work diligently to reduce your anxiety throughout this process. We will provide you with the education, tools, and guidance you need to make thoughtful decisions to protect the best interests of your family.
How It Works
When you contact us, a NJAPM certified Mediator will contact you and thoroughly review all of your options, and provide you and your family with the trustworthy advice you need to successfully address even the most complex NJ child custody issues. After deciding which New Jersey child custody option is best, you will be assisted in carefully crafting a sensible visitation and parenting time plan. This visitation plan will be designed specifically for you and your family and will take into consideration various factors, such as:
Child care needs
Extended family members