Today’s parent is faced with several options for custody. New Jersey recognizes two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Both legal and physical custody can be shared or granted to one parent.
In New Jersey, many parents share legal custody while one parent has sole physical custody. Typically, the non-custodial parent in these cases will have regular visitation rights. Some parents find sharing legal custody—the right to make important decisions about your child—easy to manage. But many parents struggle with sharing physical custody—the right to live with your child—due to the logistics surrounding a dual custody arrangement. If both parents share physical custody, the child will live with one parent part of the time and the other parent the rest of the time.
The Complications That Can Arise
When parents can work together and cooperate, a shared physical custody arrangement can be beneficial to the child. In many cases, however, the parents struggle with sharing physical custody for various reasons, which takes a toll on the child. Some parents ask whether shared custody is worth it? Like any piece of legal information, the answer is dependent on the facts and circumstances of the case. Each family is different, and each child has different needs. No one can tell you if shared custody is worth it, but you can learn about the factors you should consider before pursuing shared custody, and that will help you make a decision that is in the best interests of your child.
First, it’s important to understand what shared physical custody means. As stated above, physical custody is the right to live with your child. A child can live with two parents, but there are also practical issues that need to be weighed.
Can you transport your child between your houses easily? Can your child go to the same school no matter where he or she lives? Can you and the other parent cooperate enough to make exchanges stress-free for your child? Do you foresee conflict over small daily things like packing lunches and helping your child with homework? How will your child cope with a frequent change in living environments? All children can get used to moving between two houses, but not all children will cope healthily. In the end, it may be worth it to some families and not for others.
As you can see, you have many factors to consider if you are pursuing shared physical custody. If you need legal guidance in determining the custody arrangement that is best for your family, consider working with a New Jersey child custody attorney. An experienced attorney can advise you of your rights, explain the various custody arrangement options, and help you pursue a custody order that is in your child’s best interests.
Are you seeking custody? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can help you obtain a favorable custody order. Located in Short Hills, 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) 810-1083, 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.