The determination of the custody and parenting time arrangement is a fact-sensitive analysis, and the primary concern is the best interests of the children. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:2-4, in any proceeding involving the custody of a minor child, the rights of both parents are equal and a parent will not be deemed unfit unless that parent’s conduct has a substantial adverse effect on the child. In making an award of custody, the court will consider the following factors, courtesy of http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/:
- The parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child;
- The parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse;
- the interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings;
- The history of domestic violence, if any;
- The safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent;
- The preference of the child when of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to reach an intelligent decision;
- The needs of the child;
- The stability of the home environment offered;
- The quality and continuity of the child’s education;
- The fitness of the parents;
- The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes;
- The extent and quality of the time spent with the child prior to or subsequent to the separation;
- The parents’ employment responsibilities; and
- The age and number of the children.
The dedicated attorneys of the Cohn Lifland family law group are here to help you navigate the complex issues of custody and parenting time. We can help you with issues of legal and physical custody including determining if custody should be joint or sole legal custody, establishing appropriate parenting time schedules, determining if and how holidays should be shared, tackling issues involving vacation time and travel with the child or children, and dealing with matters of relocation.
For Non-Married Parents…
If you are not married, but you have a child in common with someone else, issues can arise that require legal intervention. These issues include the following:
- Parenting Time;
- Child Support;
- Travel; and
- Health Insurance.
If you want to establish paternity, determine legal and physical custody of your child, set up a parenting time plan, determine child support or contributions to daycare/summer camp, establish parameters for traveling with the child, or deal with issues of the child’s health insurance, the Cohn Lifland family law group can help. We can attempt to resolve issues amicably and enter into agreements that bind both parties, or, if necessary, we can file for Court intervention. Issues involving your child or children are some of the most important issues in your life. Our experienced team can guide you through the legal channels to protect your rights.