New Jersey Child Custody And Visitation Attorney Representing Parents In Camden, Burlington, Gloucester And Cumberland Counties And Throughout South Jersey
Every parent has a fundamental right to parent their child.
The legal professionals at my firm, The Law Offices of Stephen R. Piper, LLC, and I are all parents. We know that few things are more important during a divorce than ensuring that both parents have a continuing and important role in their children’s lives. I will fight for you and the best interests of your children in child custody and visitation decisions.
I am attorney Stephen R. Piper, and if you are concerned about child custody and visitation issues, please contact my firm online or call me directly.
Types Of Custody
In New Jersey, there are two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. The state presumes that parents will share legal custody of their children. This means that both parents will share in making important decisions about the children’s education, health and general well-being. If one parent can prove that the other parent is unavailable or unfit, they may be awarded sole legal custody.
Physical custody – sometimes called residential custody – refers to where the children live. If parents share physical custody, the children spend about the same time at each parent’s home. If the child or children spend less than two nights a week with one parent, that parent is considered the noncustodial parent. The custodial parent’s home is where the children spend most of their time.
Does The Mother Always Get Custody?
New Jersey child custody law does not give preference to men or women as custodial parents. When you retain me, I will make it my goal to get the most quality parenting time I can for you so that you can maintain and grow your relationship with your children.
How Is Custody Determined?
The parents will create a plan for child custody and visitation. If they cannot agree, the court will create a parenting plan for them.
The court will consider the following factors in determining what is in the best interests of the children:
- The parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate regarding parenting issues
- Each parent’s willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse
- The child’s interaction and relationship with parents and siblings
- Any history of domestic violence
- The safety of the child and either parent from physical abuse by the other parent
- The preference of a child who is old enough to make an intelligent decision
- The child’s needs
- The stability of each parent’s home environment
- The quality and continuity of the child’s education
- Each parent’s fitness
- How close the parents live to each other
- The extent and quality of the time each parent spent with the child both before and since the separation
- Each parent’s employment responsibilities
- The ages and number of the children
How Much Visitation Time Will A Noncustodial Parent Receive?
The parents or the court determines the amount of time the noncustodial parent spends with the children. Parents can develop any type of visitation plan they desire as long as it is acceptable to both parties and is in the best interests of the child. While there is no standard format for visitation, often parents elect to have the child stay with the noncustodial parent every other weekend and one night during the week.
Putting The Children First
As a dedicated family law attorney, I help my clients create parenting plans that will work for the children first and the parents second. Over the years, I have helped clients craft thousands of parenting plans that address a wide range of needs, goals and situations. For example, I regularly work with military personnel who often live far away and move frequently.
When you are my client, you will benefit from my years of experience in child custody and visitation. I will offer my best legal advice, based on years of experience, about the options to consider and the issues that may lead to conflict. I will tell you which approaches, in general, have resulted in lasting arrangements that work well for all involved. For example, if you or your former spouse have problems with punctuality, I may recommend that you include specific details about when and where your child is dropped off or picked up for parenting time.
From my offices in Moorestown, New Jersey, I represent clients in Camden, Burlington, Gloucester and Cumberland counties and throughout South Jersey as well as in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania.