Custody and parenting time disputes can be the most important aspect of your divorce or FD docket litigation. After all, your children are generally the most important aspect of your life. The Courts look to a “Best Interests Of the Children” approach in determining custody and parenting time disputes. The process can be lengthy and in many cases might involve a “Best Interests Evaluation” and/or reports from professionals such as a Psychologist or other private or Court-Appointed custody evaluators. Generally the Court looks to the “status quo” of which parent was the primary caretaker during the marriage or during the child’s life if there was no marriage. Of course, if certain risks or dangers have arisen, it is sometimes not in the child’s best interests to maintain the status quo.
In New Jersey, “legal custody” involves being a legal parent and having access to all school records, requiring your consent to medical procedures, international travel, and other important life decisions. “Physical custody” involves being the parent with whom the children generally reside with for the majority of the time. It is common for Courts to award “joint legal custody” with one party having “physical custody” or for “physical custody” to also be joint but for one parent to be designated as the parent of primary residence.
At Garces, Grabler, and LeBrocq, we are here to advocate and fight for what is best for your children and family. From a holiday schedule to summer vacations, to general parenting time, there is a lot to negotiate and we are here to help you do so with confidence.
There also are circumstances wherein one parent expresses a desire to move out of State. While any parent generally can move on their own accord and transfer custody to the other parent, it requires permission from the Court if they are attempting to move out of State with the minor child. The Court lists specific factors in determining whether or not this request will be granted. This process can be highly emotional for the parents but we are here to help you fight for the best interests of your children.