East Brunswick, New Jersey

How do the New Jersey courts handle custody in a divorce?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Uncategorized

People preparing for divorce in New Jersey face a lot of uncertainty. It can be difficult to reach an agreement about key divorce matters with a spouse when a relationship is at its worst point. Spouses may disagree about property division matters, but nothing makes people more emotional than issues related to their children. The idea of a highly-uneven custody arrangement may leave some people frightened to even consider divorce.

When people know what to expect from the divorce process, they may feel more confident about extricating themselves from a toxic situation. What typically happens in New Jersey when parents need to share custody?

The courts keep a focus on the kids

In any litigated custody matter, a judge has to follow state statutes when dividing parenting time and the authority to make decisions about the children. The rules in New Jersey require that a judge focus on the best interests of the children. Typically, there is a desire to preserve both parental relationships. Judges usually try to divide both decision-making power and parenting time between the adults. They want the adults to cooperate with each other for the benefit of the children.

However, if there is evidence showing that one parent might endanger or mistreat the children, then that could affect the custody determinations a judge makes. Parents who have evidence of abuse, addiction or neglect that could endanger their children can potentially request sole custody or other arrangements for the protection of their children.

Parents can take control of the process

It is not necessary to immediately hand over decision-making authority to a family law judge. Parents in New Jersey always have the option of cooperatively reaching terms for their parenting plans. So long as they can resolve their disagreements either through direct negotiations or possibly mediation sessions, parents can proceed with an uncontested custody case where they set all of the terms themselves. A judge can then review and approve the proposed terms set by the parents.

Understanding the New Jersey approach to custody matters can be beneficial for those worried about how the end of a marriage might affect their family. Parents generally need to prepare for shared parenting arrangements or gather evidence to prove that sole custody would be best for the children.