Is 50/50 Custody The Default Arrangement In NJ?

single default parent with sole child custody

Parents with shared custody of their children often wonder how the arrangements will be decided in the courtroom. Each state varies on how exactly they determine the best decision for each child custody case, but 50/50 joint custody isn’t the default in most states. However, New Jersey courts tend to lean towards evenly split child custody arrangements. Read this blog or reach out to one of our Child Custody Attorneys in Bergen County, New Jersey today to learn more about how custody is determined in our state.


No, there is not technically a “default” child custody arrangement in New Jersey law. However, many NJ courts these days actually tend to favor 50/5o shared custody arrangements, granted that both parents are fit to have custody of their child. It’s important to remember that there isn’t one arrangement that works perfectly for every single family. There are many different circumstances that may impact a judge’s decision-making when it comes to child custody. The court will need to investigate each parent’s relationship with the children and determine how fit they are to parent a child. A parent could lose custody of their children if they lack the tools and skills to properly raise them. This is because in New Jersey, the child custody decision is based on the best interests of the children.


There are many reasons why courts may lean away from evenly shared custody between two parents. On one hand, 50/50 custody can’t always be the best decision for every family. Judges must make custody decisions on behalf of the child’s best interests, and 50/50 custody isn’t always in those interests. On the other hand, courts might favor mothers to have sole custody because of false, sexist assumptions about gender roles. To this day, it is widely believed that all women are naturally maternal and therefore are always a better fit than men to parent a child. There have been many cases where mothers are able to easily win sole custody of their children by trying to make the father seem unfit in the courtroom. Some judges might even think that children naturally need more time with their mothers than with their fathers. Thankfully, many more people today are more aware of these sexist prejudices and therefore might lean more toward 50/50 custody. Many New Jersey judges now realize that responsible fathers deserve just as much time with their children as responsible mothers do.

Are you a parent fighting for custody of your children? Do you need an experienced family law attorney on your side? No need to worry because Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark is here for you! Contact us today for an initial consultation.

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