Can Grandparents Get Child Custody in New Jersey?

If you are a grandparent in New Jersey and you believe that you are entitled to child custody because your grandchild’s parents are not fit to be parents, you must continue reading and speak with our experienced Bergen County family law attorneys to learn more about child custody and how our firm can help you and your family. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What are the different types of child custody?

In the state of New Jersey, there are two primary types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. When one parent is awarded physical custody, it means that the child will live primarily with that parent. Legal custody, on the other hand, is almost more critical for parents to obtain, as legal custody gives parents the right to make certain critical decisions on behalf of the child, including where the child goes to school, the type of medical treatment the child can receive, the religion the child practices, and more.

How do New Jersey courts determine child custody?

New Jersey courts will consider a wide array of factors when determining child custody, however, their primary concern is the well-being of the child. That being said, in most cases, NJ courts would like to split joint physical and legal custody evenly between the two parents, however, if they determine that this is not in the child’s best interests, there is a very good chance that they will award one parent sole custody. However, you should understand that one parent receiving sole custody is rare, and will only be awarded under circumstances where the other parent poses a danger to the child, or is otherwise parentally unfit. Sole custody may be awarded when it is proven that one parent has a substance abuse issue or has a history of domestic abuse or other similar behavior.

That being said, if it is determined that both parents are parentally unfit, New Jersey courts will look to other parties to raise the child, at least until the parents can prove that they are ready to become responsible parents. In certain cases, New Jersey courts will elect grandparents as the child’s legal guardians. If you are a grandparent and you believe it would be in your grandchild’s best interests for you to obtain custody, give our firm a call today.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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