Custody Arrangements in New Jersey: What’s Common?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 02, 2022 | 0 Comments

There's no easy way of going through a split with your spouse or partner. The process is often even more difficult and emotional when minor children are involved. If you're going through a separation or divorce and are trying to learn everything you can about custody in New Jersey, you should know that the courts prefer some arrangements over others. If you're prepared to work with your ex to prepare a custody agreement that the courts will favor, the process may go more smoothly and be less contentious.

In New Jersey, courts prioritize the well-being of the child or children. It's a generally accepted principle that children benefit from being around both of their parents. Of course, there are exceptions, and like the Tender Years Doctrine, that you may need to speak with your attorney about.

Sole Custody

Sole custody occurs when only one parent is awarded custody, legal or physical. This is less common in New Jersey because it's not generally in the best interest of the child. There may be a good reason to award sole custody to only one parent, granting the other visitation rights. A parent may be unfit, for example, or they may work hours that aren't suitable for a joint custody arrangement.

Absent some extreme circumstances, courts are most likely to award joint custody to both parents. Joint custody can also be further categorized into joint legal custody and joint physical custody.

Joint Legal Custody

Legal custody refers to a parent's right to make certain decisions affecting the child. Matters considered in legal custody in New Jersey might include:

  • Where will the child attend school?
  • Where will the child attend church, or if they will attend church at all?
  • What kind of medical attention does a child need?

As you can guess, these issues can lead to heated disagreements when parents can't come to a consensus. When parents are granted joint legal custody, they will share in making these decisions. While it can be hard for parents, it's almost always better for the child when parents agree on legal custody issues before implementing them.

Joint Physical Custody

As the name implies, joint physical custody refers to which parent is physically responsible for the child. Parents who are awarded joint physical custody will develop a schedule, alternating days or weeks when the child is with one parent versus another.

Call a New Jersey Family Law Attorney

Nothing is more heart-wrenching than the risk of losing custody of your child. With the help of experienced NJ family law attorney Joseph D. Lento, you'll be better position to demonstrate how custody of your child is in the best interest of your child's needs to the court. To learn how Attorney Lento and his dedicated team at the Lento Law Firm can help you, contact us online, or call 888-535-3686 today.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings! He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and protects their interests.


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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