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.
New Jersey parents who leave abusive relationships might still find themselves in a custody battle with their abusive spouses. According to the American Psychological Association, most people assume that leaving a relationship because of abuse means the parent and child will be protected from the abusive parent, but this is often not the case. The APA says that because courts are dedicated to keeping children in contact with both parents, they often dismiss allegations of abuse.
It is not uncommon for child custody cases in New Jersey to be contentious affairs. However, there are several universal factors that generally determine the outcome whether it is decided by a judge or by the parents themselves. Ultimately, any decision that is made is supposed to be in the best interest of the child. This is true whether the parents are given joint custody or if one person is named the custodial parent.
When New Jersey parents of young children divorce, they may want to minimize the contact they have with one another. However, it is important that they work out consistent households rules for their children to follow as they move between households. This consistency is important to the children's well-being. Parents should remain flexible. While they may be unwilling to concede some points, they need to be able to compromise on others. A face-to-face sit down may be the best way to reach this compromise, and children can be included as well if they are old enough. Areas addressed might include video games, bedtimes and how children dress.
Child custody issues can weigh heavily on the minds of many New Jersey families. Among the parents dealing with thorny issues of custody and child care in unexpected situations are undocumented immigrants concerned about their status. Legal clinics are helping these families to prepare custody paperwork in the event that the parents face detention or deportation.
New Jersey parents who are separating or divorcing will need to negotiate a custody agreement that defines the amount of time each parent will spend with the children. One solution to consider is shared parenting, which means the children spend about the same amount of time in each household.
New Jersey divorced parents who do not reside with their children can easily contact them via texting, calling or FaceTiming. However, there may be times when a custodial parent may want to stop the noncustodial parent from doing so.
A New Jersey parent who is concerned about the other parent's substance abuse and who is going through a divorce should bring up the substance abuse at the custody hearing. The parent should also bring any documentation that can support the allegations. It is important to demonstrate that the substance abuse is harmful to the child in some way as well. A judge will be examining the fitness of both parents and making a decision that is in the child's best interests.
New Jersey parents involved in a custody battle obviously want a favorable outcome from litigation, and several factors are considered when determining child custody. Parents must understand what courts are looking for to meet a judge's standards.
New Jersey parents who are getting a divorce may be concerned about how their children will be affected, but there are things they can do to help children get used to the change. One is to pay attention to timing. For example, summer might be a good time for some parents to file for divorce because children are out of school and they can help them adjust. On the other hand, parents may prefer to do so during the school year so that they can go to attorneys' meetings without disrupting children's schedules.