Preparing for a child custody hearing in New Jersey can feel overwhelming. Not knowing what to expect can cause worry and anxiety. But you can ease these feelings by learning more about how child custody works. Here are a few questions parents often ask when preparing for a child custody hearing.
How do I prepare for the child custody hearing?
You might want to prepare a plan for each day in court. If you have an adviser in family law, work with them to create a plan. Proper behavior and dress in the courtroom can possibly benefit you as well.
Are there different types of child custody options?
Yes, there’s more than one type of child custody. There is legal custody and there is physical custody. Legal custody is the legal right to make decisions on behalf of a child. Physical custody refers to the child’s place of residence. It’s possible to have legal custody without having physical custody.
Bird’s nest custody is a newer form of child custody. The child lives in one home, and the parents take turns living with the child. The parents agree to follow a schedule for their time with the child.
I’m an unmarried mother, do I need to file for child custody?
New Jersey gives unmarried mothers physical and legal custody of their children. However, fathers can take legal action to dispute the custody arrangement.
Can a parent with a history of domestic violence win a custody hearing?
No court wants to award child custody to a violent or abusive parent. The court investigates domestic violence allegations before determining child custody.
The child’s best interest is the goal
Several factors determine who gains custody of a child. The questions answered here represent some of the most common questions. Overall, the courts want to do what’s best for the child. New Jersey typically favors joint physical and joint legal child custody between parents.