Morris County Child Custody Lawyer
In a divorce, custody of your children could be one of the most important issues to settle. Since the topic is crucial to the well-being of everyone in a divorcing family, Morris County courts treat it seriously and with great care. Child custody laws in New Jersey could be complex and difficult to navigate for someone who has little experience in the legal arena.
Contact a Morris County child custody lawyer if you are going through a divorce and need to establish custody of your children. An accomplished attorney could help you get on the right path toward achieving an arrangement that suits your needs and the needs of your child.
Types of Custody
New Jersey allows for three kinds of child custody arrangements. The most straightforward arrangement, “joint physical custody,” is typically when both parents share equal custody of their child and spend an equal amount of time with the child in their physical care. A more common arrangement following a divorce is “joint legal custody, in which the parents have an equal part in determining decisions about the child’s life. This could include religious upbringing, type of education, and health concerns.
The only difference between joint physical custody and joint legal custody is that the latter typically does not require the child to spend an equal amount of time with each parent. Joint physical custody is merely a joint legal custody arrangement in which the parents have equal responsibility for the care of the child, and an equal say in important decisions regarding the child’s well-being.
The third form of custody allowed by the state is called sole legal custody. In this arrangement, one parent is given complete authority over the important decisions in the child’s life. Typically seen as the most extreme option, sole legal custody is normally reserved by the courts for divorces that involve a high level of spousal animosity or a spouse who cannot be trusted to make decisions that honor the child’s interests. A Morris County attorney could explain the various types of child custody arrangements a person may have available to them.
Modifying Custody Arrangements
Child custody attorneys in Morris County could also assist with helping secure child custody rights and modifications to an existing arrangement. Spouses could make modifications by jointly agreeing on a written consent order. This lets the court know that both spouses are willing to make the changes to the child custody plan.
In the event that both parents do not agree to the change, one spouse could file a motion for modification. The court typically grants these in light of a significant life change. This could include one parent needing to relocate, a significant job or work-hour change, or an alteration in one parent’s lifestyle—i.e. drug abuse—that may affect the well-being of the child.
Contacting a Morris County Child Custody Lawyer
A Morris County child custody lawyer could assist you in creating or modifying a child custody arrangement. By lending their experience and legal knowledge to your case, a qualified attorney may also be able to help you one parent does not honor a child custody arrangement.
If you went through a divorce and are seeking custody of your child, changes to a child custody order that is already in place, or enforcement of an existing arrangement, contacting a child custody lawyer may be the right step to protect your child’s best interests.