Divorce can be hard on children. If you're like most parents, you love your children, are certain you know what's best for them, and are ready to fight tooth and nail to make it happen. Your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be just as sure of their parenting prowess, which is why determining child custody and parenting time can quickly become one of the most contentious parts of the entire divorce process. However, though you and your ex may be gearing up for an epic visitation and child custody battle, it's important to keep your children out of the line of fire and as far from the battlefield as you can.
At Carl Taylor Law, we care about your children's safety, well-being, and happiness—and we know you do, too. We're dedicated to making the divorce process—and all of its related life changes—as painless as possible for both you and your children. Our accomplished divorce and family law attorneys Carl Taylor and Lisa Stein-Browning can help you negotiate or litigate a child custody and parenting time agreement that protects your rights, as well as your children's best interests.
Divorcing in New Jersey and worried about parenting time and child custody issues? Here's what you should know.
Types of Custody: Legal and Physical
The state of New Jersey recognizes two main types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Here's a quick overview of the two types and how they differ:
- Legal custody. Parents with legal custody can make decisions about their children's health, education, religion, and overall upbringing. New Jersey often awards joint legal custody in divorces, allowing parents to share decision-making responsibilities.
- Physical custody. Also known as residential custody, physical custody determines where the children will live, and when. Oftentimes, one parent is designated the parent of primary residence (PPR), while the other is named the parent of alternate residence (PAR). Being the PAR doesn't mean losing access to your children. In fact, New Jersey often grants substantial parenting time to the noncustodial parent.
Our attorneys can help you obtain fair agreements regarding both physical and legal custody arrangements.
Factors That Can Affect Child Custody and Parenting Time Determinations
In New Jersey, all parenting time and child custody decisions must be made with your children's best interests in mind. Reaching equitable child custody agreements often requires both parents to set aside the negative emotions they have toward one another and focus on what matters most: the children's safety, happiness, and ability to thrive.
If you can't reach an agreement concerning child custody and visitation, the court will do it for you—and you may not like what it decides. Some of the things that the court considers when making these determinations include:
- Where the children will be the safest
- Where they'll receive the best education
- Which parent can provide better living conditions
- Which parent is more nurturing
- The children's ages, maturity, and preferences
- Their relationship with each parent
The ruling in the landmark New Jersey case McCown v. McCown stated that children have a right to a loving relationship with both parents. To the end, the court often awards plentiful parenting time to the noncustodial parent to help ensure they can maintain a positive relationship with their children.
Schedule an Appointment for a Private Consultation
Child custody and parenting time arrangements can be complicated, but the knowledgeable New Jersey divorce and family law attorneys at Carl Taylor Law can help. We've guided countless clients through the emotional and harrowing child custody and visitation process and helped them reach fair agreements that serve their children's best interests. We can also help clients modify existing parenting time and child custody agreements in some cases. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a private consultation to find out more about how we can help you protect your rights and your children.