Monmouth County Child Custody Lawyer
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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 and/or fight for child custody. Our award-winning family law attorneys are dedicated to our clients and go above and beyond to protect their well-being. Our number one priority is ensuring you obtain the best possible outcome for your child custody case in Monmouth County.
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
How Do New Jersey Courts Handle Child Custody?
If you plan to fight for child 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 issues related to custody and parenting time.
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, age appropriate
- Stability of the home environment
- Fitness of each parent
- Age and number of children
Types of 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.
The court may also award sole or shared residential custody. There are a number of shared residential custody arrangements.
In a joint legal custody arrangement, the parties work together to make major decisions regarding the child's health, education, and welfare.
What Are the Child Support Guidelines 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 New Jersey Child Support Guidelines Take Into Consideration:
- The parent income
- Spousal support obligations
- The number of overnights the non-custodial parent exercises
- The ages of the children
- The number of children
- The cost of the children's health insurance
- And a number of other factors depending on the case
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 legal 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.