Who will get custody of a child is one of the most important decisions in a divorce case. Custody arrangements significantly affect a child’s life, and the judge must make a determination that is in the best interests of the child. That being said, the judge will consider many factors when deciding on custody. The judge can use his or her own discretion when weighing these factors, but the outcome must always be in the best interests of the child.
As stated above, the judge will consider many factors, all of which help him or her make a decision on which parent can best meet the child’s needs. These factors include:
- How the parents get along, communicate, and cooperate
- The stability either parent can provide in the home
- The distance between the parents’ homes
- The parents’ work schedule and responsibilities
- What parent wants to accept custody and whether a parent has withheld the child from the other parent
- The relationship between the child and his or her siblings
- The age and number of other children in each household
- Whether domestic violence is an issue
- The safety of the child and parent
- The child’s preference, if the child shows an appropriate maturity, and, importantly,
- The child’s needs
The judge will make a somewhat holistic decision that he or she believes is best for the child. This is necessary if the parents cannot agree. The judge can decide on sole or joint legal and physical custody. Different factors will have more influence depending on what type of custody is in question. For example, the judge will more carefully consider the home environment when deciding on physical custody.
Custody is a complex issue in any case. Speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney if you have any questions about custody. Once a judge makes a decision on custody, you cannot request a modification unless there has been a change in circumstances. Having an attorney by your side from the beginning of your custody case will help ensure your rights are protected and you have an advocate working on your behalf.
If you have questions about New Jersey custody, Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can help you with your custody matter, making sure your child’s best interests are protected. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 738-8404, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.