When spouses and partners with children split up, they also need to find a way to split time with their kids. Sharing custody of your children with another parent is often complicated and usually requires a formal custody agreement to be approved by a judge. While every person's situation is different, some find themselves in the unique position of sharing a home with their ex. Matters can complicate quickly if you end up having to share a home while also having to navigate child custody issues with your former partner. The trick to successfully navigating this scenario starts with retaining a skilled attorney and adhering to the custody agreement.
Understand the New Jersey Child Custody Basics
There are two fundamental components that comprise New Jersey child custody laws. These are:
- Legal Custody
- Physical Custody
Legal custody describes a parent's authority to make decisions for a child, including religious, medical, and educational. Physical custody, on the other hand, addresses which parent the child is in the physical care of. If parents share 50/50 joint legal and physical custody, their time and decision-making authority will be evenly split. It's easy to see how these duties blur when you share a home with the person you're also sharing custody of your child with.
Set Clear Boundaries With a Custody Agreement
If you're in the situation of sharing a home with a former partner or spouse, while also having to navigate custody issues, you aren't alone. It may not seem a common scenario, but given the events of the last few years, many parents have found their relationships coming to an end with no easy way for one of them to move out. Whatever the reason, perhaps because of Covid-19 restrictions or the chaotic housing market, more people are dealing with this issue than you may realize.
When handling this situation, you should develop a co-parenting strategy with clear rules and boundaries. At a minimum, the custody agreement needs to outline how you and the other parent will split childcare costs and obligations. When parents share a house despite no longer being in a relationship, it's easy to inadvertently cross lines, and this can cause problems. Often, these live-in scenarios aren't as contentious as other breakups, but that doesn't mean resentment won't breed if one or both of you fail to adhere to the mandated agreement.
Retain a New Jersey Family Law Attorney
It's important you retain an experienced New Jersey family law attorney if you're working through a separation or divorce from your child's other parent. An experienced child custody attorney will help you navigate sticky situations and help you prepare for and communicate during difficult interactions concerning custody of your child. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have helped countless parents through the formation and implementation of their New Jersey child custody agreements. To learn how he and his dedicated team can help you, call 888-535-3686 today.