One question that a lot of parents will ask when they start a custody case or are getting divorced is, can I have sole custody? Our courts prefer parties to co-parent their children so many times they will grant joint custody instead of sole custody.
One of the first steps in determining child custody in New Jersey is to determine which parent will have physical custody. This simply means that they will have to decide where the children will live and which parent they will live with. Additionally, the court will have to determine who will have legal custody. Many times, the court will administer joint legal custody. This is simply who makes decisions in the child’s life. If granted legal custody, a parent can take part in making decisions regarding educational, medical, and general life decisions about the child or children. Making these decisions together effectively is important for co-parenting and finding success through joint legal custody.
A court will generally only grant sole custody to one parent if they can find reasonable determination that the other parent is deemed “unfit.” This means, it would best suit the child if the decisions about their life were only made by one parent, with whom they most likely live. Some of the reasons for which a parent might be deemed unfit to have legal custody is that they may be involved in criminal activity, they may be abusive, or put the child in harm’s way. In any of these situations, the child will probably only have supervised visitations with the parent. These can take place in a court or another controlled situation that would have a person
If you have questions about creating a custody agreement during divorce, contact an experienced divorce and family law attorney who can provide you with assistance.
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