New Jersey Child Custody Attorneys in Bergen County
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When you are going through a
divorce, we know that few things matter more to you than your children's future.
Our Bergen County child custody lawyers are prepared to walk you through
every aspect of child custody in a clear and compassionate manner. Our
team-based approach ensures you’ll have a team of attorneys actively
working on your case to provide high-quality service with a personalized touch.
Child custody is awarded based on the following factors:
- Needs of the child
- Fitness of the parents
- Parents' employment responsibilities
- Stability of the home environment offered
- Quality and continuity of the child's education
- Geographical proximity of the parents' homes
- Interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings
- Parents' ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating
to the child
- Safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse
by the other parent
- Extent and quality of the time spent with the child prior to or subsequent
to the separation
- Preference of the child when of sufficient age and capacity to reason so
as to form an intelligent decision
- Parents' willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness
to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse
Other Factors Considered
Judges may take into account the ages and number of children, the location
of the child's school, each parent's job situation, and the distance
between the parents' homes. A court may deem that a parent is unfit
if a history of child abuse, drug addiction, or even domestic violence
exists. Usually, in these situations a parent will have restricted or
supervised visitation for a period of time. In extreme cases, the court
can terminate the parental rights.
Types of Custody Plans
There are two types of custody: physical and legal. Physical or residential refers to the parent the child lives with (the
Parent of Primary Residence versus a Parent of Alternative Residence).
Legal custody refers to the parent(s) responsible for making all major
decisions affecting the child including those related to health, education,
safety, and overall welfare. You will have the opportunity to come up
with a custody plan with your spouse first. If you two cannot agree upon
an arrangement, the court will be called upon to intervene usually with
the benefit of a forensic custody evaluation prepared by a mental health expert.
In New Jersey, the following options exist in relation to custody:
Sole Custody – One parent makes decisions for the child without the other parent.
Joint Legal Custody – Both parents have a say in and can participate in the decision-making process.
Parent of Primary Residence – Residence where the child primarily resides and spends the most time.
Parent of Alternative Residence – Residence where the child spends parenting time based upon a schedule.
True Shared Parenting Agreement – Both parents have rights to parenting time with their child.
In an extremely contested child custody case, it is not uncommon for the
parties to call upon the skills of a trusted family attorney. At Sherwood
& Johnson, LLC, our
Bergen County family lawyers are compassionate to the needs of our clients, and we work to help reach
amicable and fair resolutions for the entire family.
How To Modify Child Custody Agreements in Bergen County
It is not uncommon for a custody plan to be modified well after the initial
arrangement has been finalized. Whenever a change in circumstance occurs, a
modification may be necessary. For example, a custody plan will have to be revisited
if one spouse is planning to move outside of the state of New Jersey.
To learn more about custody and to discuss which plans might work best
for you, do not hesitate to speak with a member of our legal team today.
Contact our Bergen County family law firm now.
Schedule your complimentary case consultation. Email us or call (888) 224-1218 today!