Gloucester County is one New Jersey's southern counties. Gloucester county has approximately 290,000 residents. Gloucester is within arms reach of Philadelphia, PA, and several other PA townships. It also shares borders with Camden, Salem, Atlantic and Cumberland Counties. The highest court in the county is the Gloucester County Superior Court. The Gloucester County Court is located in Woodbury. Matters of Family Law, including child custody, are handled in court's Family Division.
Custody Process In Gloucester County
In Gloucester County, along with the rest of the counties within New Jersey, child custody proceedings will be decided upon by a judge. Normally, the first matter that must be settled is the matter of adhering to the Uniform Child Custody Act (UCCA), which, among other things, helps settle which state jurisdiction a child is under in custody battles that involve families from two different states. This can be common in Gloucester County, due to its proximity to Philadelphia, PA. Many families in the Gloucester County area may relocate across state lines after a divorce, and the UCCA grants jurisdiction to whatever state is considered to be child's home state. A "home state" is normally wherever the child takes primary residence, or where the child has been for the past 6 months. If it is settled that Gloucester County is to be the county of jurisdiction, the process can begin according to New Jersey's custody proceedings.
Gloucester County follows a general procedure pursuant to New Jersey's guidelines. Basically, custody matters will be settled by a hearing in front of a judge. The judge will use the standard of "what is the best interest of the child" to make decisions on matters of custody. There are a number of factors that play into what would be considered to be the child's "best interests," and they often differ by state and county. In Gloucester County, the primary factor for consideration is the child's exposure to physical danger or harm. Other factors that are included are parental relationships with the child, any history of domestic violence, the age of the child, education, and more depending on the circumstances of the case. In particular, domestic violence will be weighed very heavily, as it directly pertains to the child's physical safety and well-being.
When you are beginning a custody proceeding in Gloucester County, it is helpful to get an attorney involved early on. While the court will rule in what is the "best interest of the child," what that best interest is must be proven in court through evidence and argument. Securing the services of a skilled and experienced Family Law attorney early on in the process can help protect you and your family's interests. You only want what is best for your child, and a Family Law attorney's job is to ensure that you are able to have that protected.
Contact a Gloucester County Attorney Today
If you or a loved one is currently engaged in a custody battle in Gloucester County, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.