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What Role Does Financial Stability Play in New Jersey Custody Decisions?

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Child custody is often one of the most contentious matters in a divorce. Parents must agree on how to split time with their children, and if they cannot compromise, the decision will be left to the courts. As such, understanding the factors the courts will consider when determining custody of a child is critical. Many parents are concerned as to whether or not their financial stability will prevent them from receiving custody. The following blog explores what divorcing parents should know about these matters and how a Somerset County child custody attorney can help you through these matters.

What Factors Influence New Jersey Custody Decisions?

In general, several factors can heavily impact the court’s custody decisions. This is because the courts want to ensure the child’s best interest when determining custody, so they will consider several factors to ensure the child’s health, well-being, and safety. As such, the following factors will be taken into consideration:

  • If there is a history of abuse or neglect
  • If either parent suffers from substance abuse issues
  • Whether either parent has a severe mental illness
  • The parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs
  • The parent’s living situation
  • Each parent’s job demands
  • Where each parent lives

Generally, the courts will do everything possible, as long as it’s in the child’s best interest, to grant joint custody. This is because they believe the child will benefit from a relationship with both parents. However, if there are factors that prevent the parent from adequately providing for and protecting the child from harm, the courts will make the necessary decisions.

Is Financial Stability a Deciding Factor?

Because the courts will consider several factors when determining custody, financial stability alone will not bar a parent from receiving custody. However, when combined with other factors, a low or unstable income can influence the court’s decision.

For example, some lower-earning parents may be able to take a more active role in the child’s life, helping to provide meals and emotional support, spending time with the child, and showing they can serve as the primary parent. As such, they would order the higher-earning parent to contribute to child support. On the other hand, if their financial instability means they cannot provide a safe and healthy home life for the child, the courts will likely rule against them.

When going through a divorce where children are involved, it’s in your best interest to retain the legal guidance of an experienced attorney. Unfortunately, this can be incredibly complex, and as your children are at the center of this matter, legal representation is critical. At the Siragusa Law Firm, we understand how important your child is to you, which is why we will fight for the best possible outcome. Our team will do everything possible to help you. Contact us today to learn more.

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