Attorneys Dedicated To Helping Your Children
At the heart of child custody laws in New Jersey is the best interests of the children involved. Unless one parent poses a threat or endangers the child’s well-being, children should be able to spend time with both parents. With so many aspects of your child’s future dependent on the outcome of your court proceeding decisions regarding child custody must be handled professionally and with the child’s best interests in mind.
At Arndt & Sutak, our New Jersey child custody attorneys personalize their representation to your needs and the unique aspects of your situation. With our help, you can find a favorable resolution to your child custody dispute.
What Are The Types of Custody?
There are two types of child custody recognized in New Jersey: Legal custody and physical custody.
Legal Custody gives a parent the right to make decisions in regard to the care and safekeeping of the child. These types of decisions can be about the child’s education, medical care, and religion. Joint legal custody is often awarded so that both parents can share in the decision-making process.
Physical custody, also known as residential custody, is where the child is spending his or her time. Typically, one parent will be designated as the Parent of Primary Residence (“PPR”), while the other is designated as the Parent of Alternate Residence (“PAR”). While the child is with one parent, that parent is responsible for the care of the child and the day-to-day decisions. A schedule needs to be established between the parties regarding parenting time. If the child is going to spend equal time with both parents, the court will award joint physical custody. If the child is going to be in the permanent care of only one parent, the sole custody can be awarded and visitation rights can be given to the other parent.
Determining Parenting Time
Parenting time, or visitation, is the agreed-upon schedule for the child to spend time with their parents. In addition to scheduling the regular weekday and weekend calendar, special occasions – like holidays and vacations – must be negotiated for fairness and balance to the child’s life.
Seek Legal Assistance
There are many possible outcomes for both custody and parenting time. Parents may share joint legal custody, but one parent may be granted primary physical custody if the child lives with that parent more than the other. If there are disagreements about physical or legal custody, a judge in a New Jersey Superior Court will make those decisions for you based on child custody laws.
However, it is best to first work with an experienced legal team who can help you negotiate a plan. If you and the other parent are having trouble agreeing on a plan for parenting time, our staff would welcome the opportunity to offer creative solutions.
When parents are making custody decisions, they must consider several factors such as:
The relationship of the parents
The child’s relationship with the parents
Any previous instances of domestic violence
The time that each parent can commit to caring for the child
The amount of time each parent spends at work
The ages of the children
In extreme cases, there may be legitimate reasons why one parent should not be involved in the children’s lives. In these situations, you may not want the other parent to have parenting child with your child. Likewise, your spouse may feel you are not capable of caring for your children and wish to wage war against your right to parenting time. No matter what side of this issue you are on, our New Jersey child custody attorneys can help negotiate a peaceful resolution.