New Jersey Child Custody Disputes—An Introduction

The Basic Things You Need to Know

New Jersey Child Custody DisputesIf you are considering filing for or are in the middle of a divorce, and you have minor children in the marital home, one of your first concerns will be custody. How does the court determine custody? What are the different types of custody? What factors are involved in a custody ruling?

The Different Types of Custody in New Jersey

As you work to come to an agreement regarding custody and visitation, you’ll hear a number of different terms discussed:

  • Physical custody—This refers to where the children actually reside. Traditionally, minor children of divorce spent most of their time in the home of one parent and had visitation with the other parent. That usually meant every other weekend with the “non-custodial” parent, as well as alternating holidays, some time in the summer and perhaps a night a week. In recent years, though, the trend has been toward greater shared physical custody, with the children spending more equal time in the home of each parent.
  • Legal custody—This involves decisions about the child’s well-being, including educational, health, religious and extra-curricular activities.
  • Joint custody—The court may give both parents equal custody rights
  • Sole custody—The court may grant custody exclusively to one parent

What Factors Go Into a Custody Determination?

In New Jersey, as in most states, the primary factor governing the determination of custody rights is the “best interests of the child.” New Jersey courts typically look at four different issues:

  • The impact of a custody ruling on the child’s physical well-being and safety
  • How the custody determination will affect the child’s emotional health and well-being
  • The respective parenting skills, as well as the parties’ ability and willingness to engage in co-parenting
  • Any practical concerns

Contact the Law Office of David M. Lipshutz

We will only take your case if we know we can help. For an appointment, contact our office online or call us at 856-627-1990. We are available to meet with you Monday through Friday, between 9 am and 5 pm.