Understanding Child Custody in New Jersey
A large aspect of any divorce that includes children is child custody and parenting time. When parents divorce, the final settlement will indicate which parent will be the primary caretaker and how much parenting time the other parent will have with the children. Sometimes this can be resolved between the parents by creating a parenting agreement. However, in cases where it cannot be settled outside of court, child custody evaluations may be required and a judge may ultimately decide custody issues. As a child custody lawyer, Katherine K. Wagner helps to make sure that clients are fully informed about the different child custody types and making sure the decisions are made that are in the best interest of the child.
Some of the child custody types and related issues are:
- Joint Custody
- Joint Legal Custody
- Joint Physical Custody
- Sole Custody
- Sole Legal Custody
- Sole Physical Custody
- Parenting Time
- Parental Relocation
- Fathers’ Rights
Deciding Which Parent Gets Primary Custody
In the majority of child custody cases, one parent will be designated the Parent of Primary Residence (PPR) and the children will live primarily with that parent. The other parent will be designated the Parent of Alternate Residence (PAR) and the children will have an agreed upon amount of parenting time with that parent, usually on a set schedule. In general, both parents will have joint legal custody, which means they will each have an equal say in making major decisions that affect their children’s lives, such as education, religion, healthcare, etc.
Some of the factors the court looks at when deciding on child custody include:
- The child’s age, gender, and physical and mental health
- The physical and mental health of the parents
- The parent’s lifestyle and how it could affect the child
- The parent’s ability to provide basic needs and emotional support
- The child’s established living conditions, including education, and the potential effects of changing their status quo.
- The child’s preference, depending on their age.
Determining your Child Custody Needs
Every case of child custody is different. Sometimes both parties are in agreement as to what is in the best interest of their children, while at other times there is no agreement at all. Ms. Wagner is well versed in the various forms child custody may take, and she works hard to ensure that the emotional needs of the children are the primary concern. There are many different techniques including mediation, four way conferences at which both attorneys and both parties are present, as well as custody evaluations that Ms. Wagner uses to help arrive at an agreement that ensures a positive outcome for any children involved in divorce.
Serving Somerset, Hillsborough and Branchburg, New Jersey and the surrounding areas.