Atlantic County is one of New Jersey's coastal counties. The county sports a population of over 275,000 residents and contains several of New Jersey's famous shore points, including the popular vacation spot Atlantic City. Atlantic County Superior Court oversees all matters of law within the county, criminal or civil. Issues that pertain to Family Law are resolved within the court's Family Division. This includes child custody matters. The court itself provides access and resources for individuals who are acting Pro Se for certain matters, while also allowing attorney representation in more serious cases.
Child Custody In Atlantic County
In Atlantic County, the first step to determining a custody battle is finding the jurisdiction. Because New Jersey and Pennsylvania share a border together, it is common for families to be divided over the two states. The UCCA (Uniform Child Custody Act) helps ease the frustrations and complications from these situations. In short, the law basically grants jurisdiction to whatever state that the child can call their home state. A home state is normally where the child's primary residence is located, or where the child has lived for a longer amount of time. If the case falls under Atlantic County's jurisdiction, the case will move forward according to the guidelines set by New Jersey law.
For Atlantic County, and all other New Jersey counties, proceedings for child custody all follow a common practice. Custody will be settled via a hearing with a judge, or resolved out of court through mediation. If the matter does make it to a judge, the judge will rule in favor of what is deemed to be in the "best interest of the child." This is a broad manner of making a judgement, however, certain factors play into a judge's consideration more heavily than others. In general, the physical safety and health of the child is the primary concern in custody proceedings. The court will also consider other factors such as the age of the child, the preference of the child, the parental bond with the child, and more. Of particular concern is any history or potential for domestic violence. Since domestic violence is indicative of a danger to the child's physical health, this will be weighed heavily in custody proceedings.
Engaging in a custody battle is often a complex and emotionally charged process. Every parent just wants what is best for their child, but rarely do parents see eye to eye when locked in a struggle for custody. An attorney can help ease the strain on the parents involved, and can also protect not only your interests in the matter but also those of your child's. Obtaining an attorney's counsel early on can help secure what matters most, and ensure that you know what may unfold as the case reaches the courtroom.
Contact an Atlantic County Attorney Today
If you or a loved one is involved in a custody battle in Atlantic County, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.