Why the Primary Caretaker Matters in Custody Cases

In custody cases, there are many factors that can influence a judge’s decision. Among these is how much time each parent spent with the child and the relationship between the child and each parent. Because of these factors, the parent who was the primary caretaker of the child may stand a better chance of getting custody. Many other factors must be considered, such as the child’s needs and the parents’ preferences, but the primary caretaker of a child is often the parent who retains physical custody.

Working Toward a Smooth Transition

When making a decision on custody, the judge will consider chiefly the child’s best interests. When making a decision on custody, the judge will consider chiefly the child’s best interests. Typically, it is not in the child’s best interests to change primary caretakers. Too much change can be a challenge for kids to cope with, especially in a divorce case. Thus, if the parent who was not the primary caretaker wants custody (and thus the primary caretaker’s responsibilities), he or she will need to demonstrate why the benefits would outweigh the “costs” of the change. This can happen if the primary caretaking parent is no longer able to provide the same level of care or was found to be putting the child at risk of harm.

While the primary caretaker is a considering factor in custody cases, it’s not in and of itself deterministic. Typically, a child will do best if his or her primary caretaker does not change in a divorce or separation, but certain situations can certainly warrant such a change.

Consider working with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney if you are in a custody dispute. If you are seeking custody of your child, an attorney can explain the factors the judge will consider when making a decision. Then, your attorney can help ensure the judge has relevant information on the most important factors. If you have been the primary caretaker of your child, you will need to demonstrate that you are the best parent to continue to serve in that role. If you have not been the primary caretaker, you will need to demonstrate that you are ready to step into that role and that you can best meet your child’s needs. An attorney can help you do this while defending your valuable rights as a parent.

Do you have questions about custody? Williams Law Group, LLC can advise you of your rights and help you get a custody award that protects your child’s best interests. 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) 738-8366, email us at info@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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