The Best Interests Of Your Child
As hard as divorce is for adults, it is even harder for children. Children need stability to thrive, and during a divorce, stability is in short supply. Developing a workable child custody arrangement should be the goal of every parent in divorce. With a knowledgeable, skilled lawyer on your side, you can go a long way toward achieving this goal.
Our firm’s child custody law efforts are led by attorney Jennifer McCaskill. With more than 10 years of family law and divorce work, she has represented parents with children of all ages. Whenever possible, our goal is to minimize conflict while helping clients and their children through the challenges of divorce.
Seeking An Outcome That Is In The Best Interests Of The Children
When determining custody and visitation, New Jersey Courts are required to do what is in the best interests of the children. As a result, Courts typically shy away from custody arrangements that will create upheaval and turmoil in a child’s life. It is important to understand that if one parent is the primary caregiver for the children during the marriage, it is very likely that he or she will continue to be the primary caregiver after divorce.
With this said, there are many types of potential arrangements. In New Jersey, it is common for both parents to maintain joint legal custody of the children, meaning that both parents share in decision-making over education, religion and the child’s general welfare. Sometimes parents share joint physical custody as well, meaning that both parents have equal or at least somewhat similar amounts of parenting time. In other situations, one parent may have sole custody while the other has parenting time.
Ideally, a custody agreement should be resolved through meditation or negotiation between the parties. An actual custody battle in the courtroom is likely to require expert testimony and cost substantial amounts of money. We counsel clients to avoid these scenarios whenever possible, but am able to litigate custody disputes when there is no reasonable alternative.