Parents in New Jersey who are seeking custody of their kids will first need to attend a child custody hearing. A judge will base his or her decision on state law and other factors that are unique to a given case. For instance, parents can show that they have spent time with the child by producing visitation logs. Parents can also show that they have supported a child financially by producing copies of checks made out to the other parent.
Those who are seeking sole custody of a child will need to show that joint custody is not practical in a given matter. This may be done by asserting that the other parent could physically abuse or emotionally neglect a son or daughter. In some cases, the fact that the other parent lives in another city or state may be enough to award sole custody to the person asking for it.
It is wise to dress and act like an adult at all times during a child custody hearing. Furthermore, it is important to note that both sides will present their cases directly to the judge. There is no jury in a child custody case, and the hearing itself tends to be less combative than a trial or other formal court proceeding. Parents may want to review hearing protocols with an attorney before the event takes place.
The child's best interests are paramount in a child custody case. Therefore, parents may be required to share custody or forego custody depending on the contents of a judge's order. Those who are denied custody at a hearing may be able to pursue it again at a later date if circumstances change. An attorney may help a parent obtain maximum rights to a son or daughter.