In the State of New Jersey, both parents have equal rights to the care, custody, and upbringing of their children. If one reads the policy behind the New Jersey Custody Statutes, they are designed to allow both parents the right to regular, consistent, and ongoing contact with the children after they divorce. Along with the rights of the parents to have ongoing contact with the children, is the obligation to provide financial, moral, and other support.
There are essentially two (2) components in the State of New Jersey regarding parental custody.
Legal custody is the equivalent of decision making as to the major decisions affecting the health, education and welfare of the child(ren). Most of the time, the parties share joint legal, such that each has a say in the major decisions effecting the health, education, and welfare of the child(ren).
Physical or Residential Custody
Physical or Residential custody, deals with who the child permanently resides with.
Under a traditional parenting plan, children live with one parent a majority of the time. That parent is known as the “parent of primary residence” (PPR) and the other parent is known as the “parent of alternate residence” (PAR). The PAR typically has parenting time quite liberally. However, there are no restrictions to the parties making any custodial arrangement they deem fit, so long as the children’s interests are adequately protected. So, for example, the parties could share a totally equal, joint physical custodial relationship, in addition to joint legal custody. As such, the parties would essentially have the child(ren) an equal number of overnights per year. This works best if the parties are amicable and live in close proximity. In some cases, visitation must be supervised, at least for a period of time. This is usually the case where there is a pattern of behavior by one spouse that has created or will create a risk of harm to the child.
Custody is one of the most difficult areas of Family Law, both financially and emotionally, and can be all consuming. The Law Offices of Philip C. Puglisi, LLC, has extensive experience and insight as to all aspects of custody. I suggest you immediately phone my office for a FREE CONSULTATION to review in detail all that is involved.