New Jersey Child Custody Proceedings | Are Mothers Favored?

In the early and mid 20th century, the tender years’ doctrine was a popular approach to child custody cases in all states, including New Jersey. This doctrine proposed that during the tender years of a child’s life, i.e. four years old or younger, custody should only be granted to the child’s mother. However, since the 1970s, these laws have been steadily abolished around the country and the Garden State is no exception. Nowadays, the state prefers joint legal and physical custody agreements that allow the child to have a relationship with both of his or her parents. Nonetheless, a host of factors go into specific decisions, all centering on what is in the best interests of the child. If you are involved in child custody proceedings, please read on, then contact one of our experienced temporary child custody attorneys in Bergen County, NJ to learn if mothers are favored in New Jersey child custody proceedings.

Do mothers receive special favor in New Jersey child custody proceedings?

No, the New Jersey family court does not factor in either parents’ sex or gender when determining an ideal child custody arrangement. They scrutinize the following factors:

  • The parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child
  • The parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time (which isn’t based on substantiated abuse)
  • The interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • The safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent
  • The child’s preference, when the child has the intellectual capacity to make an intelligent decision
  • The child’s needs
  • The stability of the home environment offered by the parents
  • The quality and continuity of the child’s education
  • The parents’ fitness to exercise custody
  • The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes
  • The extent and quality of the time spent with the child before or after the separation
  • The parents’ employment responsibilities
  • The age and number of the children

Why does it seem that New Jersey child custody proceedings are biased toward mothers?

While it may seem one-sided, mothers are not automatically awarded full physical and/or legal custody. That happens in very few cases and when it does, it is justified by a well-documented history of unfitness on the part of either parent. That said, you would be well advised to reach out to one of our skilled child custody attorneys in Bergen County, NJ to learn more about the child custody process and how our firm can help you.

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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