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New Jersey Child Custody Attorneys

Representing New Jersey clients in child custody and visitation matters

The process of divorce impacts the whole family. There are important issues that must be addressed which deeply affect both parents, and the children.  If you are facing child custody issues, you have a lot to consider and talking to an attorney is always in your best interest.

Physical and Legal Custody

In New Jersey, two types of custody are recognized:  physical (or residential) custody and legal custody.  Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child lives on a day-to-day basis. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions about your child.  These decisions include where your child goes to school, whether your child gets surgery, what kind of religious training your child receives, etc.

Many different combinations of physical and legal custody exist, such as “shared physical and legal custody,” “sole physical and shared legal custody” or “sole physical and legal custody.”

Note that even where a custody award is made solely to one parent, extensive visitation rights are usually incorporated, barring abuse or other dangerous situations.

Factors to be Considered

At one time, it was presumed that the mother got custody of the children.  In today’s society, however, this notion has been replaced by the generally adopted belief that both parents contribute to the well-being of the child.

It is New Jersey public policy to assure minor children of frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce.  Of paramount consideration is the safety, happiness, physical, mental and moral welfare of the child(ren).

New Jersey lawmakers enacted a law that lists the following “best interests” factors that go into making a custody determination:  (1) parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in child-related matters; (2) parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow visitation not based on substantial abuse; (3) interactions and relationship of the child with his/her parents and siblings; (4) history of domestic violence, if any; (5) safety of the child and safety of either parents from physical abuse by the other parent; (6) preference of the child, when of sufficient age and capacity to reason, so as to form an intelligent decision; (7) needs of the child; (8) stability of home environment offered by each parent; (9) quality and continuity of the child’s education; (10) fitness of the parents; (11) geographic proximity of the parents’ homes; (12) extent and quality of time spent with a child prior to and subsequent to separation; (13) parents’ employment responsibilities; and (14) number and ages of children.

Can my spouse move away with my children?

Under New Jersey law, children that were born here or have resided her for least five years cannot be removed from New Jersey by the spouse with physical custody without parental consent or a court order.  The reason behind this law is to preserve the rights of the noncustodial parent with his or her child, in order to maintain and develop their familial relationship.  If a child is taken out of New Jersey without either consent or a court order, criminal sanctions may be imposed.


Contact a firm with years of experience

The Salvo Law Firm serves families who face child custody issues. We understand how hard this topic is for parents and our compassionate attorneys are ready to guide you through your options.  Contact The Salvo Law Firm today.