What to Do When the Judge Denies Joint Legal Custody

What to Do When the Judge Denies Joint Legal CustodyFacing a Denial From the Court


If the judge denied your request for joint legal custody, do not give up hope. It’s important to understand what legal custody is and what factors the court will consider when granting it. From there, you can determine whether there are steps you can take to get the joint legal custody arrangement you want.

The Basics of Legal Custody

Legal custody gives you the right to make important decisions about your child. It does not give you the right to live with your child. Legal custody is often shared between two parents. The courts, however, often grant physical custody to one parent. Many courts agree that a child benefits from both parents being involved in important decision-making. When one parent is unable to secure physical custody, he or she can often still be an involved part of the child’s life with joint legal custody.

What Matters Most

The court will grant custody orders, both legal and physical when they are in the child’s best interests. The court will consider several factors, but the child’s best interests are the most important. Many courts start with the presumption that joint legal custody is in the child’s best interests. Thus, when a court denies legal custody to one parent, it is typically due to some specific reason. For example, the parent abused such privileges in the past or was unable to make decisions that were in the child’s best interests.

How to Get Joint Legal Custody

If you were denied or lost joint legal custody, speak with a seasoned New Jersey child custody attorney about your options. In some cases, you may be able to position yourself for success before you ask the court for legal custody again. Typically, the court will not consider a custody modification unless there has been a change in circumstances. So, your first step is to identify the reason(s) why the court denied you joint legal custody. Then, you can make the changes necessary to demonstrate it would be in your child’s best interests. An attorney can help you do both.


If you are fighting for custody in New Jersey, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced child custody attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can help you defend your rights as a parent and explore all options for child custody. 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 info@awilliamslawgroup.com, 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.


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