HIGH-QUALITY REPRESENTATION IN DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW MATTERS
Child custody is one of the most misunderstood elements of family law. Custodial plans can be Joint Legal, Joint legal and Joint Physical or can be Sole Custody plans. The distinction between and among those three alternatives has to do with the decision-making authority of the parents.
In Joint Legal Custodial settings, the children live with one parent more than 50% of the overnight time and that parent is referred to as the primary custodial parent and the other parent is referred to as the parent of alternate residence.
In Joint legal and Joint Physical custodial settings, the children live approximately 50% in each parent's home on an overnight basis and neither parent is the parent of primary residence.
And, lastly, is Sole Custodial settings, where the children primarily lives with one parent and that parent has the authority to make all major decisions for the children without the need to discuss that decision making with the other spouse. Sole Custodial settings are not common today and used sparingly for those limited settings where communication between spouses is so damaged that the parties are unable to put aside differences between themselves to be able to address important decisions involving the health, education and welfare of their child/ children. It is also used in settings where there is a domestic violence order of restraint in place and the parties are unable to communicate.
Child custody is split into two categories: physical and legal.
Physical custody determines who the child physically lives with. When a parent has sole physical custody, it means that the child lives with them almost exclusively. Shared physical custody allows parents closer to equal, or exactly equal, time with the child.
Legal custody determines which parent makes major decisions on behalf of the child regarding the child's health, education and general welfare. Sole legal custody is uncommon and is most often put in place by a judge after a parent is deemed unfit since the public policy of New Jersey is to encourage both parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing (when possible and beneficial to the child's best interests).
A well-written parenting plan is essential when determining child custody and may be required by a judge. These plans detail how parents will responsibly achieve their child-raising duties. Parenting plans often include:
- A daily schedule of which parent the child will be with.
- The amount of child support to be paid.
- The division of physical and legal custody.
- The responsibilities of each parent.
- The extent of the rights of other parties, including stepparents and relatives.
The attorneys at Diamond & Diamond, P.A., can assist in creating comprehensive parenting plans. Tempers often flare in conversations about child custody and child support. Our experienced mediators and arbitrators provide the services needed to create a plan that fits our clients' needs.
Individuals often need additional financial support after a divorce, especially when children are involved. Child support is money paid to the custodial parent by the noncustodial parent to maintain a satisfactory level of care.
Similarly, alimony is a payment made to a spouse after divorce when they need additional funds to become financially self-sufficient again. Alimony in New Jersey is most often temporary and ends when the spouse is no longer in need. Reach out to our child custody attorneys in Millburn or Fork River today.
The child custody attorneys of Diamond & Diamond, P.A., can help you in these and other family law-related matters. Call our lawyers at (973) 379-9292 or email us for an initial consultation. Proudly serving all of New Jersey.