Most divorcing parents realize pretty quickly that it is best for them to decide on custody and parenting time without the help of the court. However, New Jersey does have child custody guidelines that will come into play if the parents are incapable of coming together in making these ever so important decisions.

However you choose to approach your custody and parenting time agreement, there are lots of questions that we can help you answer in much more detail, including:

  • How much influence does my child have in making the custody decisions?
    It depends on the child’s age. Most children ages 8 – 14 are deemed to have some ability to provide input and children over age 14 can have more significant input, but ultimately the decision belongs to the court.
  • How does it work if the wife is pregnant at the time of separation and divorce?
    The unborn child is treated no differently than any living child.
  • Does a homosexual parent have equal rights to custody?
    Yes, the ultimate concern is for the best interest and general welfare of the child.
  • Can custody rights change in New Jersey?
    As a result, it is recommended that periodic evaluations of the parenting plan be made. And, if there are any changes in circumstances that impact the child, custody should be re-evaluated.
  • Who typically gets physical custody?
    The parent who was the primary caretaker of the child before divorce usually gets physical custody after divorce.
  • Does there need to be a custody agreement?
    It is required by law for at least one parent to always be legally responsible for the child.
  • Can a non-parent obtain custody of my child?
    It is possible, but it must be proven in court that it is in the best interest of the child and that the non-parent is the psychological parent to the child.
  • How is child custody jurisdiction established?
    There are several elements that govern the proper state in which child custody is determined, including the length of time the child has resided in the state, any previous court proceedings concerning child custody, and the residency of each parent.
  • How long does a child custody evaluation take?
    A full evaluation takes about three months and should be initiated at least six months prior to the court date. Most people are able to resolve their custody and parenting issues without a custody evaluation.
  • What is the typical judicial attitude toward custody?
    There is no preference given to the mother except in cases of very young children (children of tender years – ages 3 and under). The primary consideration is who was the primary caregiver to the children during the marriage.
  • After divorce, how do the majority of parents react to custody arrangements?
    Parents typically abide by the court-ordered arrangements for custody, but it is not uncommon for the terms to change following the divorce due to changes in lifestyle.

For additional questions, or for help creating a custody and parenting time agreement, contact DeTorres & DeGeorge Family Law Attorneys at 908-304-9679 to schedule a consultation.

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