Child Custody

Divorcing or ending a relationship can be complicated especially when children are involved. Who will be responsible for the child, and how much time will each parent have with the child? Rigden, Lieberman & Mignogna, P.A. can help you answer these questions by helping you navigate child custody.

We proudly serve the areas of Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County, Ocean County, Atlantic County, Cape May County, Salem County, Cumberland County, and Mercer County, New Jersey. 

How Is Child Custody Determined in New Jersey?

Child custody refers to the legal responsibility and care of unemancipated children. In the state of New Jersey, child custody is based on the factors of N.J.S.A. 9:2-4 and the child’s best interests.

There are two types of custody: legal and physical.

Joint Legal Custody

Legal custody is the ability to weigh in on decisions pertaining to a child’s health, safety, education, and welfare. If the court grants joint legal custody, which is the typical arrangement, then both parties can weigh in on these major decisions, regardless of where the child spends most of their time.

Sole Legal Custody

Compared to joint legal custody, sole legal custody allows one parent to make major decisions without consulting the other. A court will look at several factors before determining that sole legal custody is appropriate, such as mental health issues, historical dangerous behavior, neglect, or addiction. In some cases, parents may have such a toxic relationship that it would not be in the child’s best interests for the parents to have to agree on major issues.  

Physical Custody  

Physical custody refers to the living arrangements of the children, which may or may not be equal, and how much time children spend with each parent. The parenting time will be determined based on the custody factors and in the children’s best interests.

Prioritizing the Child’s Best Interest

Whether determining legal custody, physical custody, or both, a Court will consider factors including:

  • The child’s preference if of a sufficient age to have an opinion.
  • The parent’s ability to agree and communicate.
  • Any history of domestic violence between the parties.
  • The stability of the home environment offered by each parent.
  • The age and number of children.

Examining every area of a child’s life and relationships is crucial when determining custody. Every family situation is different, and it is beneficial to work with an attorney to navigate custody issues, especially because an initial custody order may set the tone for future custodial arrangements.

Contact Rigden, Lieberman & Mignogna, P.A. for a Consultation

If you are in need of support when navigating child custody, Rigden, Lieberman & Mignogna, P.A. is here to help. Contact our office to schedule a consultation. We are proud to serve the South Jersey area.

This form is currently undergoing maintenance. Please try again later.