Somerset County Child Custody Lawyer

While family dynamics can be challenging in normal circumstances, such complications may be exacerbated when divorce enters the picture. Dissolution of a marriage could be even more difficult for a family when children are involved.

You do not have to navigate the complexities of child custody without assistance from a Somerset County child custody lawyer. If you have concerns about child custody, a compassionate family attorney could help you protect your parental rights.

Different Types of Custody

While custody agreements may take on many different forms, there are two basic types of custody: legal and physical. Courts often prefer that parents work together to create an agreement regarding these two forms of custody that works best for each individual family.

Whether they do so or not, the court always makes the final determination regarding child custody arrangements. No matter the case, a child custody attorney in Somerset County could still play an important role in advocating for an individual parent’s wishes and best interests during this process.

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to when a parent has actual physical care of the child and where the child or children live. While one parent could have sole custody or both parents could have joint physical custody, courts usually prefer joint custody agreements if they are in the child’s best interests. If a parent or guardian has sole custody, the other parent may be granted visitation rights.

Even in joint custody arrangements, one parent may have more custody time than the other. It is typically the parent with more physical time with the child and not the parent of alternate residence who may have less physical time that is referred to as the parent of primary residence.

Legal Custody

Legal custody refers to the ability to make important decisions regarding the child’s education, health, religion, and overall well-being. Normally, both parents retain the right to make emergency medical decisions for the child no matter the custody agreement.

If both parents are able to demonstrate that they are capable of effective communication regarding the child, they may be awarded joint legal custody. The courts may grant sole custody to a parent or guardian if the other is deemed unfit due to neglect, abuse, dependency on drugs and alcohol, or other such issues. In all cases, the courts will grant custody based on the best interest of the child. A practiced attorney could help parents fight for physical or legal custody of their child.

Common Child Custody Factors

 As stated by New Jersey Revised Statutes §9:2-4(c), courts will consider a number of factors when reviewing a child custody agreement or creating one. These factors may include and are not limited to:

  • Any allegations of abuse or other potential threats to the safety of the child
  • Each parent’s fitness physically, mentally, and emotionally
  • Parental income
  • The needs of the child, which could include any special medical or other needs
  • The relationship between the child and the parents
  • Preferences of the child, when appropriate

A skilled Somerset County attorney could work with a parent to help them advocate for their own fitness for child custody while staying focused on determining the best agreement for the child.

Consult with a Somerset County Child Custody Attorney

Determining the best child custody agreement for you and your family could be a difficult experience, especially if you attempt it alone. Having a skilled attorney on your side could help ensure your parental rights are protected.

An experienced Somerset County child custody lawyer could help you understand New Jersey child custody laws and how it could affect you. Call today to get started.

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