New Jersey fans of the rapper and singer Nas and Kelis may be aware that the two have had ongoing disputes about child custody. The two reached an agreement in March over time with their 8-year-old son, and the agreement reportedly included who would get the child on certain holidays.
Although child custody and visitation are often talked about together, they are two different things. For a parent in New Jersey, visitation may mean that the child can spend time with that parent but not live full-time with him or her. If one parent has custody and the other parent has visitation, a typical arrangement is for the child to spend the majority of time with the custodial parent.
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.
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.
When New Jersey parents decide to divorce, they may wonder what kind of custody arrangement would best suit their children. Research shows that in the absence of serious problems such as abuse, the best solution for children is joint custody.
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.
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.