New Jersey Child Custody
Title 9 of the New Jersey Permanent Statues contains the laws about child custody for the state. This is imperative information for parents who are involved in a custody situation, particularly as a mother and father try to create a New Jersey parenting plan and New Jersey custody agreement. Here are some of the laws and guidelines to know.
The Superior Court in New Jersey has jurisdiction over custody matters. The Superior Court has authority to make decisions about the minor child if the parents are living separate or divorced. This is also the court that must approve any parenting plan and custody schedule. It is best if parents can agree on a plan because they can file it together to the court. If the parents are unable to cooperate, each parent should prepare a proposed agreement to show the court and the judge will determine the final custody arrangements.
Children should have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate. In Chapters 2-4 of Title 9 in the New Jersey Statutes, the state makes it very clear that it considers the child’s best interest to be involved with both parents after a separation. This must be shown in a New Jersey custody schedule. This statute also states that neither parent is given a preference regarding the granting of custody–that means that the father and mother both have an equal chance for custody. A New Jersey visitation schedule must provide the parent who doesn’t have custody with significant time with the child.
Everything should be done in the child’s best interest. The standard for any custody decision is that everything should be done in the best interest of the child. These are the factors, contained in the law, that the judge will consider when determining what the best interest will be: the parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate; the parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of denying the other parent visitation; the interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents and siblings; any history of domestic violence; the preference of the child; the needs of the child; the stability of the home environment; the child’s education; the fitness of the parents; the location of the parents’ homes; the roles of the parents before the separation; the parents’ employment responsibilities; and the age and number of children. Parents should use these factors to guide them as they create the child custody and visitation schedule.