It’s one of the top concerns that every divorcing family has to face: Who will get the children? Will it be joint or sole custody? What are the rules for visitation? What happens with child support? Will I ever get to see my kids again?
These are all valid concerns when dealing with your divorce and these decisions will not come easily. Even if you and your spouse can agree on the simplest of matters, it’s still important that you speak with an attorney regarding the long-term implications of the arrangement.
For 27 years, New Jersey child custody lawyer Anthony Carbone has been helping parents negotiate and reach an agreement over custody. We understand what a trying time this may be and we’ll work with you to make sure the arrangement is beneficial for you and your children.
The Different Types of Child Custody in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, there are a number of specific factors judges must consider when they decide the outcome of child custody cases, such as:
- The interaction between the child and the parents as well as any siblings
- The child’s preference if he/she is over the age of 12
- The stability of the home environment
- You and your spouse’s fitness as parents
- Your employment responsibilities (i.e. Do you have a job? Will it support you and your children?)
Once the factors have been decided, the court will then make a decision. It has two options: who the child will primarily live with (physical or residential custody) and what parent has the authority to make major decisions affecting the child’s life, such as education, health, and welfare (legal custody).
There are different subcategories when it comes to physical and legal custody, such as:
- Sole physical custody – The child will live with one parent most of the time and spends less than two nights per week plus holiday and vacation time with the other parent. In this case, visitation rights are usually available.
- Shared physical custody – The child will spend more than two nights per week with each parent. This is different from joint custody where the parents have equal say in where the child lives and other parental decisions.
- Joint legal custody – This means the parents both have the right to participate in making major decisions for the child. This can exist even if only one parent has physical custody.
- Sole legal custody – Only one parent can make important decisions in the child’s life without needing to consult the other parent.
If your child custody case is being contested, the judge may order a home evaluation and/or psychological evaluations of the child and the parents. The court may also conduct an in-camera interview with the child, at which lawyers and court staff will not be present.
Speak with a Jersey City Child Custody Lawyer Now
Even if the parents can agree on a child custody outcome, a judge has to agree that the settlement is in the best interests of the child. Except in unusual circumstances, an agreement between the parents that avoids contentious litigation is generally considered to be in the child’s interests.
Our Jersey City child custody lawyer Anthony Carbone will do whatever he can to protect your relationship with your children. If you are going through a divorce or you need help with your child custody arrangement in New Jersey, contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.