Divorce New Jersey Custody

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The typical divorce custody in New Jersey does not award child custody either to the father or the mother solely on the basis of gender. According to the law, the relationship between the child and each parent should be given significance. In some cases, grandparents or individuals (other than the parents) may request for custody. However, there exists a presumption that favors the natural parents.

It is never regarded that a specific custody and visitation arrangement is final and permanent. As and when the circumstances undergo a change, the parents can revisit the court and seek alterations.

"Joint" Child Custody in New Jersey

The Joint Custody in this state can be classified into three major types:

Shared Physical Custody

  • The child has two separate residences after his or her parent's divorce. Therefore, the child needs to live with each parent on an alternate basis for a specific period of time
  • The child should be with each parent for minimum of 35 % of his or her time
  • It is essential that in the case of joint physical custody, the child's general activities like schooling and social life should not be affected too much
Joint Legal Custody
  • The child has only one primary home
  • The control and care during the upbringing of the child is shared by both the parents
  • Joint legal custody allows the parents to have equal participation while making decisions related to the child such as the child's education, health care, involvement in extra curricular activities, following a specific religion and the overall welfare of the child.
Combination of the above two
  • The combination of the above two custody types can be granted by the court in special cases. One of the examples is as follows:
    • The child has only one residence
    • Each parent resides with the child at this residence in a rotating plan

The single most vital factor that the court takes into account regarding joint custody is the capacity of the parents to speak with each other. Moreover, they must be able to arrive at mutual decisions that impact the welfare of the child.

Let us assume that the parents are continuously arguing over issues pertaining to the child. For example, which school should the child attend or what should be the religion of the child? If such parents draft an agreement for joint custody, the court might not approve it.

Apart from the above, the other issues pondered over by the court are:

  • How would the parents benefit by joint custody?
  • The financial status of each divorcing parent
  • The number of children the parents have and their respective ages
  • Does the employment of the parent make it essential to consider some points (for example, extensive travel, long hours of work etc.)?
  • Are the residences of the parents close to one another?
  • The capacity of the parents to make the social and school life of the child, a stable one
  • The preference of the child
  • The relationship of the child with the parents
  • The fitness of all those involved
  • The readiness of the parents to share custody
Other types of Divorce Custody in New Jersey

Split Custody

  • This is usually seen in cases wherein the divorcing parents have two or more children
  • Each parent is awarded complete physical custody of at least one child
  • The preference of the child and his or her age are crucial in determining this award
Sole Custody
  • The child has just one primary residence
  • The legal as well as physical custody is offered to only one parent
  • Such custody is typically granted in cases where either of two divorcing partners proves the other partner as an unfit parent for the child
Temporary Custody
  • This cannot be regarded as an initial award of child custody
  • It is in force only till the parents wait for the court to hold a hearing
  • This custody is decided on the basis of the best interests of the child
Modifications in Child custody

Any kind of change in previously ordered child custody plan can easily be brought by presenting a valid reason to the court. For example, if the custodial parent has decided to move out of the state then custody responsibilities may need be modified. This is because visitation rights of the non-custodial parent may be affected and hence, significant modifications need to be implemented.

The divorce custody in New Jersey is usually entails an adequate upbringing of the child after his or her parent's divorce. The entire procedure is carried out in adherence with the law and the rights defined for the State of New Jersey.

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