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Child custody written in a note and gavel

Is New Jersey a 50/50 Custody State?

When parents decide to go their separate ways, they will need to make decisions about how to share child custody. One of the most common questions is whether New Jersey is a 50/50 custody state. This refers to an equal division of custody between parents. Child custody is a life-altering decision that can impact your relationship with your children. As such, it’s crucial to understand the different custody arrangements that exist in New Jersey. Please continue reading to learn whether any legal statutes find a 50/50 split as the best solution for custody and how a trusted Ocean County Child Custody Attorney can help protect your parenting time. 

Can I Get 50/50 Custody in New Jersey?

A 50/50 custody arrangement, or joint physical or shared custody agreement, refers to a co-parenting plan in which each parent is afforded equal time with their children. In New Jersey, child custody is not a 50/50 default judgment. Although it may seem unfair that each parent wouldn’t receive equal custody of their children, the court must ensure that it’s in a child’s best interest to award joint custody. Essentially, New Jersey courts don’t automatically apply a 50/50 custody rule. Instead, child custody is determined based on the “child’s best interests” standard to ensure their well-being. A judge will take numerous details about your family to decide the best arrangements for the children. Some of the factors the court will weigh when determining custody arrangements include the following:

  • The number and age of the children
  • Each parent’s relationship with the children
  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child
  • Each parent’s earning capacity and work schedules
  • The living arrangements of each parent
  • The geographical proximity of the parent’s homes
  • The child’s educational needs
  • The preferences of older children
  • Any history of domestic violence or abuse within the family
  • The ability of the parents to act in the child’s best interests

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that the court favors 50/50 custody because they recognize that it’s in a child’s best interest to have an ongoing relationship with both parents. However, joint custody will not be awarded if it negatively impacts a child’s emotional, mental, or physical well-being.

How Can I Reach a Joint Custody Agreement?

A 50/50 custody arrangement has several advantages, as it enables both parents to remain active participants in their children’s lives. Parents should consider mediation to reach a joint custody agreement. During mediation sessions, parents meet with an unbiased third-party mediator who facilitates communication and offers solutions to disputed issues. The process is intended to help parents reach an amicable agreement. However, it’s imperative to understand that mediation is only successful if both parties are willing to cooperate and compromise for the benefit of their children.

If you’re facing an issue about child custody, please don’t hesitate to contact the Law offices of Sarina Gianna, LLC today for a consultation to discuss your legal matter. Our attorneys are prepared to represent your interests and protect your rights effectively.