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What is Joint Custody in New Jersey?

parents child in middle

When two people share a child but no longer wish to remain in a relationship and raise that child together, they must determine a child custody arrangement. It’s crucial to understand that separating parents’ rights will vary depending on the type of child custody awarded. Several different custody arrangements exist. However, most courts find that joint child custody arrangements are in the best interests of a child. This is because the court believes a child should benefit from being nurtured by both parents through a regular and ongoing relationship. Joint custody has various benefits as it allows both parents to remain active participants and influence their children’s lives. Please continue reading to learn how joint custody works in New Jersey and how a trusted Ocean County Child Custody Attorney can help you fight to safeguard your parenting time. 

How Does Joint Custody Work?

Firstly, it’s crucial to understand that there are two types of joint or shared custody: physical and legal. Joint physical custody is when the child spends time with their parents regularly. Physical custody encompasses where the child lives. Typically, the child will split time with the parents close to equally, but the child primarily lives with one parent and has visitation with the other. On the other hand, joint legal custody is when both parents have equal rights to make major decisions on behalf of their child. This can include decisions about their education, healthcare, religion, extracurricular activities, and more. Having joint legal custody means that parents make decisions about the child together.

When parents have shared physical custody, they will split their time equally with the child. However, if the child needs to live primarily with one parent, the other can be given more time to spend with the child during midweek visits, extended weekends, longer holiday breaks, or school break visits. A specific parenting schedule usually dictates how parents will alternate time spent with their children. When they have shared legal custody, their custody agreement will outline the different choices that must be made together on behalf of their child.

When is Shared Custody the Best Option in New Jersey?

Generally speaking, children often do better if both parents are significantly involved in their lives. Therefore, if you and your spouse can put your differences aside and prioritize your child’s best interests, a shared custody arrangement can allow you to remain an active participant in their life. However, joint custody is only an option when parents are willing to work together to meet their child’s needs.

If you’re considering a joint custody agreement, please don’t hesitate to contact a skilled Ocean County child custody attorney from the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC, who can help you fight to protect your child’s best interests.