Monmouth County Child Custody Lawyer
Child custody is one of the most contentious issues in family law. While emotions often run high during separations or divorces, there are countless benefits when parents put their children’s needs first and work together. When parents cannot reach an agreement between themselves, a judge will make the final decision; however, our courts’ public policy strongly encourages settlements whenever possible.
At Moskowitz Law Group, our family law attorneys are dedicated to helping families resolve their disputes and manage their affairs. Call an experienced Monmouth County child custody lawyer when you need help creating or modifying an arrangement.
Types of Custody Arrangements in Monmouth County
There are two types of custody. Legal custody gives parents the legal right to make major decisions for and act on behalf of their children. This includes major decisions about the child’s general welfare, health, and education. Physical custody determines where the children will live primarily and which parent will provide for their daily needs. Physical custody may also be “joint” physical or residential custody, where both parents have equal time with the children. New Jersey family courts favor joint legal or physical custody arrangements to ensure children spend time with both parents.
When parents share joint residential custody, the children spend equal time in both homes. In a primary residential custody arrangement, the child spends 51 percent or more time at one of the parent’s homes. When the court grants sole physical custody, the children live in one parent’s residence full-time. A local child custody attorney can help parents reach a fair agreement on legal and physical custody that reflects the best interests of all parties, or, advocate for their client in court if the parents cannot come to an agreement.
Factors That Affect Custody Arrangements
The family court considers the rights of both parents when determining child custody arrangements. According to New Jersey Statutes Annotated 9:2-4, family law encourages both parents to share responsibilities for the care of their children and to have frequent and continuing contact with their children after a separation or divorce. Unless the court determines a parent is unfit to be around their children, a custody agreement that does not provide for joint physical custody will typically ensure the non-custodial parent has ongoing and recurrent visitation. According to the Statute, a parent may only be found unfit if their conduct has a substantial adverse effect on the children.
The primary factor that affects child custody orders is the child’s best interests. In some cases, older children may be able to advocate for their preferred arrangement. While the court may consider this opinion, it will also consider other factors to determine the best possible arrangement, including:
- The relationship between the children, parents, and siblings
- If there is an established history of domestic violence or child abuse
- The distance between both parent’s homes
- Parental fitness to care for the children
- The quality and extent of the time spent with the children prior to and after a separation
If there is reasonable cause for concern regarding the safety of children alone with a parent, the court may order supervised visitation. A proactive legal professional can answer questions about how courts in Monmouth County determine child custody arrangements and ensure parents understand their rights.
Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Monmouth County Child Custody Attorney
Child custody arrangements involve significant changes to a family’s life. When a couple with children separate, it is always best to try and find a way to communicate and co-parent that does not continue to disrupt the children’s lives. Unfortunately, this is not always possible.
Through litigation and/or compromise, a knowledgeable and compassionate Monmouth County child custody lawyer can protect your rights and help your family reach a fair agreement. Call Moskowitz Law Group today to schedule a consultation