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Katherine K. Wagner, Attorney at Law Over 25 Years of Experience
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Clinton Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody is one of the most contested aspects of a New Jersey divorce. When parents divorce, the divorce settlement will include information on custody for your children. It will indicate which parent is the primary custodian and how much parenting time the other spouse has. In some divorce proceedings, the spouses can reach an agreement known as the parenting agreement. However, in many other divorce matters, couples cannot reach any type of agreement on their own. In this situation, it will be necessary to have the judge evaluate the situation and issue a ruling.

At Katherine K. Wagner, Attorney at Law, our Clinton child custody lawyer has nearly 30 years of experience helping clients resolve outstanding child custody and support issues. Ms. Wagner understands what is at stake and is prepared to help protect you and your family’s rights. We make sure you are fully informed about the various types of child custody and how each one works. We will work with opposing counsel to reach a divorce settlement and custody agreement that satisfies both parties’ needs.

Types of New Jersey Child Custody

Child custody will vary in every divorce as there’s no “one size fits all” model for every situation. Each couple has unique circumstances that make it essential to tailor the custody agreement to the particular couple involved. In general, there are several different types of custody, as outlined under New Jersey laws. These custody arrangements are:

  • Legal Custody
    • Sole Legal Custody
    • Joint Legal Custody
  • Physical Custody
    • Sole Physical Custody
    • Joint Physical Custody

Legal custody and physical custody are different. Legal custody refers to each parent’s right to make crucial decisions on behalf of their child. These decisions can involve things like education, religion, and healthcare. Wherever possible, the courts like to award joint legal custody so the parents can share in the significant decisions that affect a child’s wellbeing and upbringing.

Physical custody deals with where the child will live most of the time. The family court judge may say that parents will share joint legal custody, but only one parent has physical custody. The other parent, known as the “non-custodial parent,” will be granted parenting time rights. Or, the court may determine parents share legal custody and joint physical custody, with your child spending nearly equal amounts of time at each parent’s house.

How Do the New Jersey Courts Decide Primary Custody?

Numerous factors go into child custody cases. The court’s primary concern is what is best for the child, not what is most convenient for you or your ex. That is one reason why we recommend you try to reach an agreement on your own. If you fight and let the judge decide, it may be a custody arrangement that neither of you likes.

Some of the issues the court will look at include how the children are treated and how each parent communicates with the child. Is there any history of domestic violence or child abuse or neglect? They will also look at each parent to determine whether you are stable and what type of relationship you have with your children.

Contact a Clinton Child Custody Lawyer

If you need assistance with child custody or any other family law matter, let an experienced Clinton child custody lawyer help. Contact Katherine K. Wagner, Attorney at Law, today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us help protect your parental rights and fight for the custody arrangement you desire.

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