Both mothers and fathers likely have many concerns about child custody when divorcing. It is helpful for divorcing parents in New Jersey to be aware of how child custody is determined and what to expect from the child custody process.
Factors used to guide child custody
There are several factors that are used to guide child custody determinations. The factors include but may not be limited to:
- The interaction between the child, its parents and siblings;
- The preference of the child if the child is 12 years of age or older;
- The stability of the child’s home environment;
- The fitness of the parents; and
- The employment responsibilities of the parents.
Child custody is always based on what is in the best interests of the child. Because each child is unique, and each situation different, what is best for each child may be different. That is why these factors are used to help determine what will be best for the particular child in question.
Physical and legal custody
Both physical and legal custody of the child needs to be worked out. The parents may shared child custody. The other option is sole custody of the child with visitation. When both the mother and father of the child are seeking joint custody of the child, the family law court will evaluate the ability of the parents to agree, communicate and cooperate concerning the child and what is best for the child. Any history of domestic violence will also be considered. During the child custody process, divorcing parents should be prepared overall to prioritize the interests of the child and develop a child custody arrangement that is best for their child and their family.