After a divorce, parents often find that the terms initially negotiated regarding child custody need modifying due to a change in circumstances. Read this blog and speak with our experienced New Jersey child custody modification attorneys to learn more about modifying child custody in New Jersey and how we can help you receive the modification you and your child require to go on living happy, productive lives.
What are the two types of child custody in New Jersey?
The two types of child custody in New Jersey are physical and legal custody. Essentially, if you have physical custody of your child, it means that your child lives with you. Legal custody, on the other hand, refers primarily to your right as a parent to raise your child and to make certain key decisions on behalf of your child regarding education, religion, medical treatment, and more.
How do New Jersey courts decide on child custody terms?
The primary deciding factor when it comes to deciding on child custody in New Jersey is the best interests of your child. While New Jersey courts would prefer to evenly split physical and legal custody between both parents, if they determine that it is not in the child’s best interests, they may award one parent sole custody of the child, or at least an uneven parenting time schedule in favor of the parent they believe is more parentally fit. That being said, there are various factors that New Jersey courts will examine when determining child custody, including both spouses’ age and health, both spouses’ yearly income, both spouses’ ability to emotionally and financially care for the child, whether each parent can raise the child in a healthy, stable, environment, and the geographic proximity of each parent to each other.
How can I get New Jersey courts to modify my child custody terms?
There are various circumstances that may warrant a child custody modification. As long as you can prove that there has been a significant and continued change in circumstances, you may receive a modification. For instance, one spouse moving far away may warrant a modification. Additionally, one spouse having a substance abuse issue will almost positively warrant a custody modification. Furthermore, if one parent exposes a child to an incident of domestic abuse, the other parent may receive sole custody of the child. In general, any act that may cause a parent’s parental fitness to come into question should warrant a modification of child custody terms.
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.