New Jersey Child Custody Attorney
When the best interest of your child or children is at issue, don’t cut corners – retain the best attorney you can, who, as I can, assist you in attaining the best result for your child. Whether it be issues of custody, parenting time, or relocation out of state, or emancipation, the court will consider the best interest of your child in to make child custody determinations.
My 30 years of experience as one of Bergen County’s premiere Family Law Attorneys allows me to achieve fair and compassionate results, whether through negotiation, motion practice or trial.
When your children are at stake there is no experience for competent, compassionate and honest representation.
New Jersey Child Custody
Legal Custody means the right to make major determinations about your child’s life, and to have acess to medical, dental, psychological and school records. In New Jersey, most parents share joint legal custody, meaning that they have the right to make decisions together. Sole legal custody means that one of the parents may, without input from the other make decisions for their child. In all cases parties are encouraged to agree on who should have legal custody of their child or children. Where the parties cannot agree, the couple is sent to mediation to have a third party assist them with this all important decision. Failing an agreement, the parties and the children will be referred to a custody evaluator who will make recommendations to the court as to who the children should live with. The evaluator will interview the parties, the children and any others as appropriate. Sometimes psychological tests are administered, sometimes one or both parties are asked to take drug or alchol screening tests. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the evaluator, makes recommendations based upon his investigation. The parties may accept the recommendations or take the matter to the court and let a judge determine who will have custody of their children, and when and how often the other party will see the children.
Residential generally refers to who the child lives with. The parent that the child lives with at least 72% of overnights with is designated as the Parent of Primary Residence (“PPR”) while the other parent is designated as the Parent of Alternate Residence (“PAR”) The PAR generally has the children less than two full overnights per week (ie less than 104 overnights per year). If the PAR has more than two overnights with the child per week, the parents are sharing residential custody. Even where parents share residential custody, a PPR is designated.
The Parent of Alternate Residence exercises parenting time with th children on a regular and continuous basis, and is to participate in child rearing during these times.
Child Support is in part determined by who is designated the PPR and the PAR, and how much parenting time the PAR shares.
Custody, whether legal, residential or shared is to many divorcing couples, the most important issue, and is certainly the most critical issue to your children. Let my experience of 30 years guide you in your efforts to get the best result for you and your children.