If you are involved in child custody proceedings, please read on, then contact an experienced Ocean County child custody attorney to learn if mothers receive favor in custody hearings in the state of New Jersey.
Are mothers favored in New Jersey custody hearings?
In the early and mid 20th century, the tender years’ doctrine was a popular approach to child custody cases in all states, including New Jersey. This doctrine proposed that during the tender years of a child’s life, i.e. four years old or younger, custody should only be granted to the child’s mother. However, since the 1970s, these laws have been steadily abolished around the country and the Garden State is no exception. Nowadays, the state prefers joint legal and physical custody agreements that allow the child to have a relationship with both of his or her parents. Nonetheless, a host of factors go into specific decisions, all centering on what is in the best interests of the child.
How do mothers factor into the determination of the child’s best interests in New Jersey?
That would depend on the following factors:
- The parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child
- The parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time (which isn’t based on substantiated abuse)
- The interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings
- Any history of domestic violence
- The safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent
- The child’s preference, when the child has the intellectual capacity to make an intelligent decision
- The child’s needs
- The stability of the home environment offered by the parents
- The quality and continuity of the child’s education
- The parents’ fitness to exercise custody
- The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
- The extent and quality of the time spent with the child before or after the separation
- The parents’ employment responsibilities
- The age and number of the children
While it may seem one-sided, mothers are not automatically awarded full physical and/or legal custody. In any event, that is something that happens in very few cases and when it does, it is justified by a well-documented history of unfitness on the part of either parent.
That said, you would be well advised to reach out to a skilled Ocean County family law attorney to learn more about the child custody process and how our firm can help you.
Contact our experienced Ocean County firm
Matters of divorce and family law require the attention and skill of an experienced attorney who will fight for your future. Not only is your financial well-being at stake, but in a divorce, both you and your children’s emotional well-being are at risk as well. If you need a divorce and family law attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today to schedule a consultation.