Child Custody Lawyer in Monmouth County
Call (732) 455-9000 For An Initial Consultation
If you are a parent, we know the love you have for your children. Losing a relationship with them, or jeopardizing your ability to parent them, can be devastating. That is why custody is such a serious issue in divorce cases.
We understand your relationship with your children is everything to you and we can help you negotiate custody arrangements or fight for custody. Our award-winning family law attorneys are dedicated to our clients and go above and beyond to protect their wellbeing. Our number one priority is ensuring you obtain the best possible outcome for your child custody case.
What Sets Us Apart?
We've Served Monmouth and Ocean County for Over 20 Years
Confidential Case Consultations
Included in Super Lawyers® List 2015,2016,2017
Call (732) 455-9000 or fill out an online form to get in touch with our Monmouth County child custody attorneys!
How New Jersey Courts Handle Child Custody Cases
If you plan to fight for custody of your children, it is important to keep in mind what the courts are looking for when making their decisions. New Jersey family courts evaluate several factors when deciding which parent should take primary custody of the children.
Factors typically taken into consideration include:
- Physical health and safety of the children
- The relationship of the child with each parent
- The parents' willingness to accept custody arrangements
- Co-parenting and communication skills between parents
- Emotional needs of the child
- The child's preference if he or she is over 12 years old
- Stability of the home environment
- Fitness of each parent
- Age and number of children
Types of Custody
Courts prefer to arrange shared or joint custody rather than give sole custody. Courts operate under the belief that it is often in the best interests of the child to maintain a consistent relationship with both parents. You may have many options for joint and shared custody depending on your situation.
Sometimes, a child may alternate living with both parents, depending on the proximity between the parents' residences. In some shared custody situations, the parents may work together to make decisions about the child's health, education, religion, and more.
In other scenarios, the court may decide the parents cannot work together and therefore require a court decision for sole custody. Sole custody means one parent will be the resident parent for the child, but the non-custodial parent will be given visitation rights.
Child Support Guidelines and Factors in New Jersey
The amount of child support a parent must pay is based on New Jersey's child support guidelines. The goal of the guidelines is to fairly allocate the cost of raising a child between both parents. The no-custodial parent may feel as if they are the only one paying for their child or children, but that is not often the case. Custodial parents are also held to a financial obligation regarding their children's support.
The amount of money each parent must pay towards supporting their children depend on the following factors:
- The children's needs
- Both parents' source of income and assets
- The standard of living of both parents
- The need and capacity of the children for education
- The earning ability of each parent
- The age and health of the children / parents
- The income and earning capacity of the child
- Other support orders each parent may have for other children
- Reasonable debts and liabilities of each parent / child
When child support is awarded, it is designed to help the custodial parent pay for the children's food, clothing, and shelter. Child support guidelines are meant to help ensure courts issue consistent child support awards and are based on a formula which takes the previously listed information from both parents and calculates a child support amount.
Adjustments can be made to the guideline calculation when a parent or both parents have other child support orders, the government pays benefits towards the child / children, and / or when adjustments have been made for parenting time. Said adjustments can also be made if a child spends more or less time with the non-custodial parent, as the non-custodial parent's cost for the child will either increase or decrease, and the custodial parent's costs must change as a result, as well.
Agreeing on a Parenting Plan is the Best Choice
If you and your ex-spouse are on speaking terms, it is best to agree on a parenting plan together. New Jersey courts will accept custody arrangements created by the parents unless the custody arrangement does not serve the child's best interests.
If parents are unable to agree on an arrangement, then the court may mandate a custody plan, which may be less favorable to the parents than if they had created one on their own. If you need assistance working through a child custody plan, call our divorce attorneys in Monmouth & Ocean County today.
Our team can assist with the following issues related to child custody:
- Factors Considered for Custody
- Legal Custody in NJ
- Physical Custody in NJ
- Visitation, Holidays & Vacations
We will do all that we can to help you assert your rights and work toward a favorable parenting plan! Schedule a free consultation with The Law Office of Darren C. O'Toole, LLC today.