New Jersey courts generally prefer that parents share custody of their children after a divorce or separation. However, it’s not always feasible for a former couple to split parental rights in a 50/50 manner. For instance, an individual may have an irregular work schedule, live outside of a child’s current school district or have personal issues that makes it difficult for a judge to justify a shared custody arrangement.
What’s in the child’s best interest?
A custody plan should always ensure that the child’s best interests are preserved. In fact, a judge is not allowed to approve of any parenting plan that might deprive your son or daughter of any resources needed to thrive. For example, you can’t deny your former partner access to your child simply because you don’t like that person. Instead, you would need to have a valid reason for interfering with that individual’s ability to have a strong bond with a child.
It’s important to have realistic expectations
It may be in your best interest to consult with a family law attorney prior to a child custody hearing. This may help you learn more about what a judge might consider when crafting a custody order. It might also make it easier to gather the information that you’ll need to prove that you’re fit to be a primary caregiver.
An attorney may be able to help you obtain maximum parental rights to your children. In some cases, this might mean obtaining sole custody of your sons or daughters. Your legal representative may use witness statements, medical records or other evidence to convince a judge that you’re capable of caring for your kids.