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Child Custody Archives

Child custody cases turn on best interests of the child

The outcomes of child custody cases in New Jersey depend heavily on the facts. In most cases though, judges make their determinations based on one or more of a few different factors. Custody cases generally turn on the best interests of the child or children involved. The best interests criterion may include almost anything related to the children. The ages of the children, their routines, their educations and their preferences may bear on the judge's decision.

Quality parents raise quality children

Statistics show that roughly 40 percent of first marriages end in divorce. That number increases to 60 percent for those married for a second time. When these separations occur, New Jersey parents should be aware that they are divorcing each other and not their children. Therefore, noncustodial parents should make an effort to be in their children's lives even if they are no longer living in the same household.

A parenting plan can help to resolve conflicts

For New Jersey parents who are going through a divorce, dealing with matters related to their children can be some of the most emotional and challenging aspects. The best interests of the children should be paramount for both parties, even when it is extremely difficult for the divorcing spouses to see eye-to-eye on other matters. Absent a context of abuse, it is critical for children's emotional development to retain their close relationship with both of their parents.

Push for mandated equal parenting time

Family law matters involving children may change in New Jersey if two bills become law that alter child custody determinations. Under these new proposed rules, a presumption would exist in child custody cases that a child would live with each parent for approximately equal time periods. Agreeing on child custody arrangements is difficult for many couples going through a divorce, and these new rules seek to eliminate the uncertainty and pitfalls surrounding this topic.

Communication can help resolve co-parenting challenges

New Jersey couples considering divorce may be particularly concerned when they have children. Dealing with child custody and co-parenting can be stressful for the parents, but at the same time, a strong relationship with each parent is very important for the psychological security and health of their children. When there is no abuse or neglect, it's very important that children are supported to maintain close, positive relationships with both of their parents, even after the divorce. The difficulties of child custody can be some of the most emotionally difficult aspects of the divorce, and adjusting to co-parenting and divided time can be hard on both parents and children.

Child custody and supervised visitation

New Jersey law has a preference for joint child custody when parents do not live together, but some circumstances can make giving one parent sole custody a better option. In cases where one parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or if there are allegations of violence, that parent might be denied custody but granted visitation rights. In these cases, a court order might require supervised visitation, which means a third party must be present when the parent visits the child.

Parental knowledge can improve the child custody process

Child custody issues may be one of the greatest fears for New Jersey parents heading into a divorce. In addition to ending the relationship between spouses, a separation can also mean major disruption and changes to the parental connection with their children. When a parent has been a daily part of their kids' lives, even a shift to joint custody can be difficult. Child custody negotiations can be emotionally difficult and pose logistical problems. In fact, many couples postpone divorces for years in order to avoid child custody disputes.

Study shows kids do better in shared parenting arrangements

During a divorce, the change in the life New Jersey kids experience at home can have some negative impacts on their health, happiness and performance at school, especially if one parent is granted full custody. In fact, one parent, usually the mother, is still awarded physical custody of the children in 80 percent of all child custody cases.

Co-parenting and household rules after a divorce

It can be important for divorced parents in New Jersey to establish consistent rules for their young children as they move between households. These could range from rules about bedtimes to video games to how children dress. The actual substance of some of these rules is less important than that children get a sense of security from their consistency. Parents should be prepared to compromise although there may be points on which they feel they cannot budge. If they know what these points are ahead of time, negotiations might go more smoothly.

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