Child Custody and Visitation
Child Custody Middlesex County
Deciding on who gets custody of a child depends on a few factors. If the parents reach an out-of-court agreement, the decision lies on them. However, if there is no decision made prior to going to court, the choice will be made in court. When a judge decides who gets custody, the main concern is “the child’s best interest,” as well as which parent has been the child’s “primary caretaker”. The primary caretaker is the parent who performs the majority of the child’s upbringing. However, if the child is old enough, the judge will also take their opinions into consideration.
The Courts can also give “joint custody” to the parents. This can take on one of three forms:
• Joint physical custody (children spend time with each parent)
• Joint legal custody (parents share decision-making on medical, educational, etc. regarding the children)
• Both legal and physical joint custody.
If the parents never married, then most likely the father can’t win custody of the child. However, it is possible if they can establish that the mother is unfit to care for the child. It would also be beneficial if the father could prove he is the child’s primary caretaker. It may also be possible to get shared legal custody, allowing you the rights to make important decisions regarding your child’s upbringing and welfare.
It is also possible for someone other than the child’s parents to obtain custody. Relatives and close families can also request custody. While some states will refer to this as “third-party” and “non-parental” custody, other states refer to this as “guardianship”
Our law office is located in Manalapan. Contact us by contact form or call (732) 972-1600 to schedule a convenient appointment. Evening and weekend appointments are available.
We take cases throughout New Jersey, to include Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean, Somerset, Burlington, Mercer, Morris, Bergen, Essex and Hudson Counties.
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