One of the most difficult parts of divorce is figuring out child custody arrangements. In some cases, court battles between exes can get downright ugly. One of the most unfortunate parts of that is the fact that children are exposed to the anger, stress, and strife caused by the parental figures in their life disagreeing so violently and drastically.
Children of divorce usually feel bad enough without being subjected to parents criticizing each other, arguing about custody and child support, and everything else that goes along with an ugly divorce. The more amicable your divorce, the better the chances are that everyone will come out of it as unscathed as possible – that includes your kids.
Hopefully, the following will help with an understanding of some of New Jersey’s child custody guidelines.
First Things First
Naturally, separation is the first step in a divorce. Already child custody can be a problem, before the divorce is even finalized. Once you’re living separately from your ex, some type of arrangement will need to be made as to when children will spend time with you and when they’ll spend time with the other parental figure in their life.
According to New Jersey law, parenting time determines child support as well as non-child support expenses. So, not only is this parenting time arrangement important to the children, it’s going to matter greatly as to how child support payments will be determined.
Things such as the following need to be worked out:
• With whom will your children live?
• Where will your children live?
• How much time will be spent with either parent?
Child Custody in New Jersey
Basically, there are two existing ways that child custody can take place in New Jersey:
Physical custody – Where and with whom a child lives is determined here. Though it may not always be feasible, a 50-50 physical custody arrangement may be possible. Many things can throw a wrench into this arrangement, however, such as career obligations, the residence of each parent and their proximity to each other, etc. The “custodial parent”, or “parent of primary residence”, is a New Jersey concept in which case the other parent is referred to as the “parent of alternative residence”. When it comes to splitting up time between parents, there are countless ways of doing so. Considered in the arrangement may be the following:
• Weekday dinners
Legal custody – This involves the privilege of making non-routine and important decisions affecting the health, education and welfare of a child. Legal custody is often shared, in which case must attempt to jointly agree on such issues.
Who Decides Custody?
Unless you want the judge to decide child custody, rather than litigation, consider every means to settle your case. Be sure to bring up every concern and think far into the future when negotiating child custody and parenting time. Discuss the following with your ex-spouse:
• Will anyone be moving out of state or out of the area?
• Throw some ideas back and forth as far as dividing up summers, holidays, weekends, etc.
• What are each of your education and religious upbringing expectations?
• Be sure to go over availability and schedules for each of you.
Remember, a little give-and-take will make for better resolutions and you’ll stand a better chance of keeping things out of the courts.
Romanowski Law Offices Assists With Child Custody Arrangements
If you are divorced or facing a pending divorce, and children are involved, child custody and parenting time are going to be things that must be determined. At Romanowski Law Offices, we are prepared to fight for your rights and the rights of your children where child custody, alimony, child support, and more are concerned. During trying times like these, you need someone on your side who is compassionate yet tough in their representation. You can count on us. We’ve got your back.
Contact us today if you like more information.