Bergen County Child Custody Lawyer
Custody battles often overwhelm divorce settlements, as both parents may grow hostile towards each other and territorial towards their children. Given the effect these cases can have on all the children, caretakers (if any), and parents involved, the child custody process can sometimes feel too personal, emotional, or complicated to deal with alone.
Let a Bergen County child custody lawyer represent you and your child’s best interest during your divorce. With the help of a skilled family lawyer, your children may continue to grow and prosper in a peaceful and encouraging environment.
Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody
There are two types of legal custody available to divorcing parents in Bergen County: sole custody and joint custody. The difference between these two forms of custody is whether one parent or both parents are granted legal decision-making power on behalf of their child’s wellbeing. This power can include decisions regarding the child’s health care, doctor’s visits, education, and religious activities.
Physical custody is often the more sensitive of custody battles, as it determines actual physical time parents are allowed with their children. Sole custody allows one parent full custody and residency over the child and provides that the child lives in one location with this one parent. Though rare, sole physical custody may be granted if one parent’s personal circumstances do not support the child’s best interests.
In a joint custody agreement, both parents are allowed equal time with the child. This can require the child going from one parent’s house to another, on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the circumstances.
In some cases, alternate or more specialized forms of custody may be agreed upon. One example is “bird’s nest custody,” an arrangement in which the child lives in a neutral location and the parents undergo a rotating schedule to visit the child. This type of custody prioritizes a consistent and stable environment for the child and may be the most beneficial and effective option for all parties involved. A Bergen County attorney can help a family explore their options regarding child custody arrangements.
Visitation Rights in Bergen County
For the parents who are not granted physical custody of their children after a divorce, it may be crucial to ensure that any visitation rights established are equitable and acceptable to both parties. A Bergen County child custody attorney could help make sure any visitation agreement is fair and reasonable. Depending on the circumstances of each individual case, the following visitation rights may be granted:
- Supervised visitation – requires a neutral witness such as a social worker, family member, or close family friend to be present during the time of the visit, in order to ensure the child’s best interests are maintained
- Unsupervised visitation – the most common form of visitation, this is granted when a parent who has no custody can be trusted to be alone with their child
- Virtual visitation – in certain circumstances, such as when a parent relocates to another state, video recording technology such as FaceTime or Skype can be used for formal visits with a child
Talk To a Bergen County Child Custody Attorney
A Bergen County child custody lawyer could work to attain a positive outcome in your fight for custody and visitation rights. Call today to schedule a consultation and see what an experienced attorney could do for you and your family.