A divorce can be a difficult process for everyone involved, including children. When getting a divorce, there are many matters you and your spouse must agree upon, the most important of which may be child custody. Child custody can be complicated. Who gets custody? What are the different types of custody? How do you go about making these decisions? Read on to learn about the basics of child custody procedures in New Jersey.
Understanding Different Types of Custody
In New Jersey, there are a few different types of child custody. Your options include:
- Physical custody
- This refers to the parent or guardian who has the child more nights per week. The child’s nights may also be evenly divided, depending on what works best.
- Legal custody
- This refers to the parent who makes the important decisions regarding the child. These decisions may include issues such as academics and medical options, among others. It is important to note that both parents have the opportunity for legal custody, even if only one parent has physical custody.
- Sole custody
- This occurs when the court deems one parent unfit. This means that the fit parent is fully responsible for the child. The unfit parent may have supervised or unsupervised visitation rights, depending on the situation.
Regardless of the type of custody awarded, New Jersey believes that, for the most part, having both parents involved is what is best for a child. As a result, it is important to put differences aside and work to do what is in the child’s best interests.
How is Custody Determined?
Often, the best ways to determine custody are through mediation or collaborative law. In these situations, parents can work together to come to conclusions that work best for themselves, their families, and most importantly, their children. If these methods are not successful, the court can make a decision on behalf of the parents.
Creating a Parenting Time Arrangement
When both parents are involved, it is often necessary to keep a set schedule. To go about making this schedule, there are many things to consider:
- School breaks
- Summer vacations
- Recurring weekly schedules
- Other special events
It is important to take these events into account, eliminating any arguing or uncertainties that may arise without a well-planned schedule.
You may also agree upon and include information regarding pick up and drop off times, extracurricular activities, and transportation.
A divorce can be difficult for children, so it is important to handle the issue of custody delicately. To navigate the issue of child custody, reach out to a knowledgeable and empathetic attorney.
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