Divorcing parents have an added set of issues to resolve. A divorce is an already complicated and emotional process. When children are involved, it can become unbearable. Issues like child custody and visitation can take its toll on the family as the established nuclear family unit will be disrupted greatly. The results of a child custody case are never easy. One parent will most likely lose the consistent access they have enjoyed for so long. The results may ultimately have a tremendous strain on the relationship between the noncustodial parent and the child. The idea that a parent will not see their child every day can be overwhelming. When parents can agree to terms, child custody and visitation can be an uncontested issue. When they cannot, a court may need to decide on the matter for them. Whatever the case, if you are a parent involved in a divorce, it is important to have quality legal support on hand through the process. Contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC for a consultation to discuss your legal matter with a compassionate and effective attorney.
Custody arrangements in New Jersey
New Jersey will always make a decision on child custody according to the best interests analysis, a principle that focuses the court on making decisions according to what is best for the child. There are certain custody arrangements that are applicable to certain situations. These custody structures revolve around two main kinds of custody; legal and physical.
Physical custody: Physical custody, also known as residential custody, relates to where the child will spend more time per week. The party that wins physical custody, known as the custodial parent, will see the child more nights per week. The other party will often have consistent access to the child and nights of their own. Under the best circumstances, parents can work collaboratively in order to split their time evenly, known as joint physical custody.
Legal custody: Legal custody allows parents the authority to make important decisions in a child’s life. These decisions can include matters related to health, education, religion, and general welfare. Though a parent may lose physical custody, most parents will retain the rights to legal custody, requiring parents to make decisions together. In rare cases, a parent can lose both physical and legal custody, awarding the other sole custody or sole legal custody. This can include times where one parent poses a danger to the child or when parents just don’t have the ability to work together. Even though a parent may lose rights to custody, he or she may still be entitled to visitation rights and parenting time.
Factors that impact child custody
When a court decides on a child custody case, they will take a variety of factors into consideration. The court will always act in the best interest of the child. Some of these factors may include, but are not limited to:
- A parent’s inclination to accept custody
- The safety of the child
- The relationship between the child and each parent
- Any past of domestic abuse
- The child’s needs
- The capability of the parents
- 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
There are many times when parenting time and visitation rights are disputed. In some cases, a noncustodial parent faced a hostile custodial parent that refuses to allow access to the child. Other times grandparents and siblings are exposed to the same, suffering from the loss of a once consistent and ongoing relationship. Parents, grandparents, and siblings are the only people that can request a visitation order in New Jersey. Visitation orders are a way for people to request a court to assess the child’s best interests and make a determination on who should have access. This can include an order to gain access or to gain more time with the child. The court will determine the matter after considering many factors.
Contact our firm
If child custody or visitation are contested or you are a grandparent or sibling hoping to gain access to a child in your life, our firm is ready to guide you through. These legal matters are complicated and deserve the attention of an experienced family law attorney. Contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC for a consultation.