New Jersey courts, first and foremost, consider the best interests of a child when awarding custody whether the parents are married, going through a divorce, or were never married.
Our Hackensack child custody lawyers have over 35 years of experience helping parents negotiate and craft child custody arrangements that serve the best interests of their children. If you need help negotiating, litigating, or modifying your child custody arrangement, contact our child custody lawyers to discuss your concerns. Put an experienced and dedicated attorney to work for your family.
If the parents cannot agree on a child custody arrangement, New Jersey Family Part judges determine what custody and parenting time arrangements are in a child’s best interests.
Our family law attorneys excel at assisting you in settling custody and parenting disputes. Settlement is favored by the Family Part judges due to the damaging effects that protracted litigation inflicts on children. However, if necessary, we have the skill and expertise to litigate on your behalf at trial or defend your interests on appeal.
As your lawyers, we will advise you regarding what factors a Family Part judge will take into consideration and how best to present your side of the issues. When necessary, we will ask the court to order a “best interests” evaluation of a child by a forensic psychologist. The court may also appoint a guardian ad litem who will conduct an investigation and provide a recommendation to the judge handling your case.
Our child custody lawyers work with you to develop the evidence needed to support your case and show that your custody arrangement is in the best interest of your child or children. To speak with our Hackensack child custody lawyers, contact Cowen & Jacobs right away to discover how we can best help you advocate for your child’s best interests.
Cowen & Jacobs is a Hackensack, New Jersey law firm focused on protecting the rights and interests of our clients, including those clients with complex child custody and parenting time issues.
Our experienced Hackensack child custody lawyers have successfully helped parents negotiate, litigate, and appeal a host of complex child custody and parenting issues, including but not limited to:
We have also successfully incorporated third parties into custody arrangements such as grandparents and step-parents, when dictated by the best interests of the child. Our child custody lawyers will work tirelessly with you to protect parental rights and get the best child custody and parenting time arrangement for your family.
There are many terms to be familiar with when you are thinking about what sort of child custody arrangement would be best for your family and when you begin engaging in custody negotiations. Here are some important definitions to know:
Legal custody provides each parent with the right to make parenting decisions about the child’s education, medical care, and other major decisions. There is a presumption that both biological parents will retain legal custody.
Most divorced parents or separated unmarried parents continue to share legal custody of their children and collaborate on their children’s upbringing. Respectful and consistent co-parenting, free from conflict, is always considered to be in a child’s best interests.
The parent with whom the child resides has physical custody. There is also a presumption that it is best for both parents to share responsibility for the child’s day-to-day care and well-being. That is why, when joint residential custody is agreed upon or ordered by the court, it is often 50/50.
If physical custody is not shared 50/50, one parent becomes the Parent of Primary Residence (PPR), meaning that the children reside with that parent most of the time. The other parent will be the Parent of Alternate Residence (PAR).
The number of overnights in the parenting plan will be a factor in determining the amount of child support payable by the PAR to the PPR. Whether a parent is the PPR or PAR, they continue to have equally shared legal custody, also referred to as joint legal custody.
Sole legal custody and sole physical custody of children are awarded to a parent in the relatively rare cases where the other parent is deemed by the court to be unfit or is unable to or refuses to co-parent in the child’s best interests.
It is always in the child’s best interests to have a close and loving relationship with each parent. Therefore, regardless of which parent is the PPR or even if one parent has sole legal and physical custody, there must be an opportunity in most instances for the child to spend time alone with each parent.
A parenting plan can be very detailed in order to avoid any ambiguity and post-judgment conflict. General speaking the parenting plan will set forth at least the following terms including but not limited to:
Cowen & Jacobs, child custody attorneys, have over 35 years of experience in Bergen County Superior Court and in other New Jersey counties. Armed with our depth of knowledge of the law and the practical workings of how the legal system functions, we are able to successfully fight on your behalf to ensure, whether by settlement or as ordered by the court, that the custody and parenting arrangement that you have determined is in your child’s best interests prevails.
Call our Hackensack child custody lawyers to discuss your child custody concerns today.
Are you ready to get started on your case with a consultation? With over 35 years of experience, our child custody attorneys are ready to fight for you. Reach out to us today to see what Cowen & Jacobs can do to assist you in your journey through the legal system, which can be very stressful, particularly with regard to child related issues.
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