A divorce can be difficult for every member of a New Jersey family. While the parents may struggle with the legal elements of untangling their personal and financial affairs, the children may struggle with the idea of their single household breaking into two. Many parents prioritize the needs of their children when they go through divorce, but even amicable splits can become stressful one child custody is discussed. Parents should remember that child custody matters are worked out based on the best interests of their own children, so the outcomes of other child custody cases may not be relevant to their own legal matters. Whenever questions about child custody arise, it is best for a concerned parent to direct their inquiries to their divorce and family law attorney as this post does not provide any legal advice.
Understanding legal custody
One form of child custody that is relevant to New Jersey divorce cases is legal custody. A parent who has legal custody of their child has the right to be involved in the decision-making processes of the child’s life. For example, having legal custody means that a parent may have a say in how the child is educated, what medical care they receive, and if they follow a religious belief system.
Understanding physical custody
The other form of child custody that parents must understand is physical custody. Physical custody is the form of custody that most parents think of when they consider divorce. Physical custody involves having a child live with a parent once their divorce proceedings are complete.
Regarding both legal and physical custody, parents can share these forms of custody or they can be awarded solely to one parent. If parents share physical custody, they must work out a schedule on which the child will move from household to household. If a parent is denied physical custody rights, they may be eligible to seek visitation with their child.
Best interests of the child
As mentioned, different family law cases will result in different custody outcomes. It is always the priority of New Jersey courts to protect and promote the best interests of the specific children whose legal matters appear before them. What is right for one family may not be right for another in terms of child custody and for this reason different families may have very different child custody plans after divorce.
Parents want what is best for their kids regardless of their marital state. When divorce impacts a family, parents can fight for their children’s interests when negotiating child custody matters. A strong advocate in the form of a dedicated family law attorney can help a parent make good decisions about the future care of their children.