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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New Jersey estranged couples with young children may struggle to co-parent after their marriage comes to an end. One parent might be particularly difficult. This could be a temporary situation that resolves itself once the parent adjusts to the divorce. However, whether or not this happens, as long as the conflict does not involve issues such as addiction or abuse, there may be ways to ameliorate the situation.
Many children of divorced New Jersey couples live in a shared custody arrangement that involves them moving back and forth between the homes of their parents. To reduce the disruption, a strategy called nesting has attracted the attention of some parents willing to try something different, at least in the short term.
In most cases, divorced parents must set aside their personal feelings about each other and behave in ways that are in the best interests of their children. This might mean having to take them at their word when they make what seem like poor choices or disrupt a schedule. Parents should also avoid venting their frustrations about each other in front of their children. While it is important that parents take care of themselves so that they are able to continue to parent effectively, they must not do so at the expense of the children. Parents who need additional support may want to turn to friends or a therapist.
When they divorce, New Jersey parents might plan to remain near one another so that their children do not undergo too much disruption. If a custodial parent decides to move due to an involvement with a new partner, this can create complications for the other parent and for the child. The child might feel isolated in a new community, and the other parent might struggle with the commute. There may also be tension between the new partner and the ex-spouse.