Strategies for Minimizing Harm to Children in New Jersey Custody Battles

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jun 01, 2024 | 0 Comments

Protecting the Best Interests of the Child 

In New Jersey family courts, the focus in child custody cases is always on the best interests of the child. There are several factors that the courts use in determining custody, but some relevant ones for minimizing harm and ensuring the safety of the child have to do with the parent's ability to communicate and cooperate with each other and the nature of the relationship between the child and each of the parents. Also, if there is no history of domestic violence or substance abuse, the court looks at each parent's ability and willingness to encourage a positive relationship with the other parent. The court further examines the ability of each parent to provide for the child both emotionally and financially. If you are considering going to court for custody in New Jersey, then contact Lento Law Firm Family Law Team at 888.535.3686

Types of Custody 

The court may decide on one of several types of custody based on the family's circumstances: to award either sole legal and physical custody of a child to a parent while the other parent has visitation rights; to award joint legal custody to both parents regarding the upbringing of the child; or joint physical custody where the child is living with each parent for a significant amount of time. 

How to Minimize Harm to Children During a Custody Case 

Under the New Jersey code,NJ Rev Stat § 9:6-1 (2023): "Neglect of a child shall consist in any of the following acts, by anyone having the custody or control of the child: (a) willfully failing to provide proper and sufficient food, clothing, maintenance, regular school education as required by law, medical attendance or surgical treatment, and a clean and proper home, or (b) failure to do or permit to be done any act necessary for the child's physical or moral well-being."   

Parents may become so involved in their conflict over what they think is best for the child that they forget that the very act of their heated disagreement with each other threatens the child's physical and mental well-being. In fact, parents in a high-conflict custody battle have neglected the child in favor of airing all the possible grievances they have in court.  

Inevitably, these grievances impair their ability to make decisions that are truly in the best interests of the child. Children want to feel safe and secure in the love of both of their parents. It is not the divorce itself, but the amount of conflict and argument children experience in the presence of either parent that harms the child's sense of well-being. 

Cooperation between parents during the custody process is key to not causing harm to a child, which can lead to long-term symptoms like anxiety, depression, or acting out behaviors. Parents must learn to control angry emotions and maintain enough polite behavior so that the child does not feel threatened. If a parent can stop criticizing the other parent in front of the child and learn to communicate neutrally using clear, informative language on key decisions regarding the child, then a child will feel protected and able to enjoy a loving relationship with both parents. Good communication and cooperation between parents are important factors that the court will carefully consider in the award of child custody. 

If you or your loved ones are facing a high conflict custody dispute, do not delay and preserve your rights by contacting the Lento Law Firm Family Law Team at 888.535.3686

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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