As a parent, a conflict over a child can be challenging. However, many parents end up in a conflict when they’re in court over a child custody matter.

Many New Jersey child custody laws can be complex, and parents often find it challenging to understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. 

The New Jersey child custody attorneys at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC, are here to help. Our Metuchen-based advocates have decades of experience in New Jersey courtrooms and deep ties to northern New Jersey.

We take time to understand our clients so that we can fight for what’s best for them and their families. Contact us today to get started.

What Is Child Custody?

Under New Jersey law, custody is the legal responsibility to care for and make decisions on behalf of a minor child. There are generally two types of custody: legal and physical custody.

Legal custody gives parents the right to make major decisions in the child’s life. Physical custody is the time a parent has to spend with the child. A child custody case will typically address both of these issues.

How Is Custody Decided in New Jersey?

A court will decide on legal and physical custody based on the child’s best interest. To determine what’s in the child’s best interest, a court examines the following factors:

  • The parent’s ability to communicate, 
  • Each parent’s willingness to accept custody,
  • If one parent refuses to let the other parent see the child,
  • The presence of siblings,
  • The relationship between the child and each parent,
  • Any history of domestic violence or abuse,
  • The child’s safety and well-being,
  • Each parent’s stability and fitness as parents, and
  • Any other factors that the court deems relevant.

Ultimately, a court tries to find a way for both parents to participate in the child’s life unless there are significant safety issues. Our New Jersey child custody lawyers can help you navigate the custody process, especially if there are safety issues that need attention.

Types of Custody Arrangements

The parents can agree on a custody arrangement–but if they cannot or will not agree–the court will decide on a schedule. New Jersey courts generally presume that regular contact with both parents is in the child’s best interests. But there are a number of ways to schedule such regular and relatively equal contact.

However, parents or the court could agree that different custody arrangements are appropriate. Situations exist where an equal physical custody schedule doesn’t work for the parents or children.

When factors such as abuse or neglect are present, sole legal and physical custody for one parent with supervised visitation for the other parent might be necessary. 

Any custody agreement must be in the child’s best interest. You should speak with our New Jersey child custody attorneys to determine which custody arrangement is best for your child.

Contact Our New Jersey Child Custody Lawyers 

A child custody case in New Jersey can feel overwhelming. This can be particularly daunting because of the detailed laws and procedures involved in a custody case.

The New Jersey child custody attorneys at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC, can help you navigate this challenging process and will advocate for you and your child’s best interests.

We’re strategic negotiators and fierce litigators. Contact us today.