The breakup of a household — and a family —through divorce can be a stressful time not only for the parents, but for the children as well. One of the key issues facing the couple is how the divorce will impact their children, and how both parents will continue to be actively involved in raising them.
Divorce is a complicated and an often emotionally-laden process that requires experienced legal counsel. Tanya Freeman, a divorce and family law attorney at the Weiner Law Group in Parsippany, NJ, wants to ensure that your parental rights and responsibilities are protected, and that the child custody arrangement works for all involved.
New Jersey child custody laws and the state’s family courts give parents every opportunity to determine what works best for their family, and it’s only when parents can’t agree that a judge will have to make those decisions for them.
“In the best interests of the child”
The term “custody” takes many forms. Legal custody is the right to make decisions regarding a child’s upbringing, such as schooling, religious education and medical needs. Physical custody is where the child resides. Both forms of custody can be either sole (with one parent making all significant decisions regarding the child) or joint (with both parents sharing in the decision making). The major determinant in awarding custody is what is in the best interests of the child.
The joint custody preference
Ideally, New Jersey law seeks the most optimal situation, where both parents maintain active roles in their child’s life — by spending quality time together, strengthening the parent/child bond, and being active participants in the child rearing process. But many considerations are taken into account before joint custody can be awarded.
In determining which custody arrangement works best for a family, the court takes into account all the relevant facts of the parent-child relationship, including the number of children and their ages, the family dynamic, parents’ employment, the child’s particular needs, and the child’s preferences, along with a host of other considerations.
Mandatory Parenting Class
To help parents and children deal with the trauma of divorce and the separation that ensues, New Jersey courts require all divorcing parents with minor children to complete a mandatory parenting class before granting the divorce. One convenient option is “Children in Between Online” (online.divorce-education.com), which is commonly accepted by court systems to fulfill requirements regarding divorce education for parents. Both parents must complete a parenting class, unless the court grants a waiver.
Experts in New Jersey divorce law
Tanya Freeman and the dedicated divorce and family law attorneys at Weiner Law Group serve clients throughout New Jersey. When facing a divorce, you can count us to represent your interests and litigate for your rights. Contact us to learn more.