In New Jersey, the custodial parent is the parent who has the most decision-making responsibilities. The custodial parent is the person who has received formal approval from the court, and a child lives with the custodial parent on a permanent basis. Even so, the noncustodial parent still has the option to maintain an intense involvement in a child's activities.
Physical custody means who the child lives with; a parent may have sole physical custody, or the child may alternate between both parents' households in a joint custody arrangement. Legal custody, on the other hand, means whether parents have decision-making authority over the child's healthcare and education. One important thing to remember is that a person may not necessarily have legal custody of a child simply because the child lives in the same house.
A single mother raising a child without the help of the child's father may need to apply for legal custody of the child in court. A family law attorney may review the laws in the state to find out if the parent is a legal custodial parent. Even if the parent does have legal custodial rights, the child's other parent likely has visitation rights. However, the child lives with the custodial parent and spends a considerable amount of time with said parent, who has a chance to help the child accomplish important tasks. A custodial parent offers their child direction and advice while being responsible for their well-being.
A parent who has recently divorced a spouse needs to ensure that the arranged visitation rights are in the best interests of the child. An attorney may help the child's parents devise an ideal parenting plan for the child.