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Child Custody Laws in New Jersey

When parents are getting divorced in the state of New Jersey, one of the challenging matters that must be addressed is the child custody arrangement. We understand how emotional it can be for a family to go through such drastic changes because divorce impacts everyone. Typically, in New Jersey, courts will want parents to maintain a relationship with their children so they will often award joint custody. In some situations, a parent is deemed “unfit,” and the court will issue sole custody to the other parent.

Types of Custody

The state of New Jersey has two main categories of child custody. The two options are physical and legal custody. Physical custody, which is also known as residential custody, is where the child will spend the majority of their time during the week. Even when parents both share custody, their schedules often lend themselves to one parent spending more time with the children than the other. The parent that spends more time with the children is known as the custodial parent. However, this doesn’t mean that the other parent does not have custody.


Even in situations where one parent spends more time with the child, the other parent may still have legal custody over the child. When a parent has legal custody, they are able to make decisions regarding the child’s health, religion, education, general welfare, and more.


Factors Impacting Custody in NJ

When a court is forced to make a decision regarding the custody of a child in New Jersey, they will take a number of different factors into consideration. The primary goal of the court is to act in the best interest of the child. The factors that may be taken into consideration include the following:

  • Whether either parent is willing to accept custody
  • The child’s safety
  • The relationship either parent and the child
  • The history of domestic abuse of either parent
  • The needs of the child
  • The capability of the parents to act in a responsible manner
  • The geographical closeness of the parents’ homes
  • The preference of the child when of sufficient age
  • The stability of a home life that each parent can provide
  • The ability of the parent to act in the child’s best interests

Contact Our Firm

If you are a parent in New Jersey who is thinking about getting a divorce, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney who can assess your situation and guide you in the best direction. Contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today.

Matters of divorce and family law require the attention and skill of an experienced attorney who will fight for your future. If you need a divorce and family law attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey, contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today to schedule a consultation.