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Andrew Bestafka, Monmouth County Divorce Lawyer

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Divorce, Custody & Family Law

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Monmouth County Joint Custody Lawyers

Going through a divorce can be difficult for anyone, but it can be especially hard when there are children involved. Determining custody agreements will be part of any divorce in which children are involved, and the best interests of the children are always a top consideration of law courts. Depending on the divorcing couples circumstances, a court or you and your partner may decide that joint custody is the best option for you and your children.

If you or someone you love is going through a divorce, and you need help with your joint custody agreement, legal intervention is possible. Contact the compassionate and experienced Monmouth County joint custody lawyers of the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., today by calling us at (732) 898-2378. We can work to help you get the custody decision you feel is best for you and your family.

Joint Custody Explained

Joint custody means that parents share the responsibilities of raising the child when the child lives with one parent or alternates between parents. The two parents can reach this agreement or can be handed down by a family court judge. New Jersey statutes assume that children are more likely to thrive when they spend time with both of their parents, so family courts support and encourage shared or joint custody agreements whenever possible.

For parents who are seeking to share joint custody of a child or children, family court judges will determine whether the parents can agree, communicate and cooperate regarding the best interest of the child. The parents are expected to participate equally in parenting decisions, and New Jersey courts encourage both parents to be actively involved in the child’s life after separation or divorce.

Under such an agreement, parents are encouraged to work out a visitation schedule that is subject to court approval. The court may also put into effect a standard schedule that provides visitation with the child every other weekend plus one night a week for the parent who doesn’t live with the child or non-custodial parent.

If the child is old enough or mature enough, the court will consider the child’s wishes in the matter of which parent to live with, and grandparents can also be included in a visitation schedule.

The New Jersey family court system can be extremely daunting, especially during stressful family breakups. It can also be very complicated and heavily depends upon legal representation. When your child’s well-being is at risk, don’t take the chance, and make sure to hire an experienced attorney to represent you.

Types of Joint Custody Arrangements

Almost literally any arrangement can be made between parents to share responsibility for caring for their child. The more that can be worked out before court, the easier it will be for a judge to sign off on your prearranged agreement. Here are some typical examples of the joint custody arrangements in the state of New Jersey:

  •     One parent has sole custody, combined with granting an appropriate amount of time to the non-custodial parent
  •      The child lives primarily with one parent and alternates time with each parent, depending on the needs of the parents and the child
  •      The parents actively work with one another to collaborate in making significant decisions for the child with regards to medical and educational choices and share time equally with the child
  •     Any other custody arrangement that the court finds to be in the child’s best interests

Each family breakup or separation presents itself with a unique set of circumstances, and all of the elements must be carefully considered for serving the best interest of the child. Judges have the latitude in determining custody arrangements for your family, so being prepared is essential before going into court. Calling a skilled child custody attorney can handle all of the stressful details of creating a joint custody agreement that a family court judge will approve.

What Comprises a Joint Custody Arrangement?

If both parents can agree on the different elements of sharing custody of their child, then they can draft their own agreement; otherwise, the judge will rely on a set of standards for a court-ordered arrangement. Whether the parents or the courts decide on the elements that comprise a custody agreement, the following are some of what a joint custody agreement is comprised of:

  • provisions for residential arrangements so that a child shall reside either primarily with one parent or with each parent
  • appropriate parenting or visitation time for the noncustodial parent if the other parent has sole custody
  • provisions for consultation between the parents in making significant decisions regarding the child’s health, education and general welfare
  • child support provisions to the custodial parent who lives with the child and bears most of the burden of the child’s expenses
  • any other custody arrangement as the court may determine might be best for the family

Having clear goals and a well-built case for the child’s welfare in your co-parenting plan is essential. Hiring a professional custody attorney will prepare you and advise you about every aspect of the case, so there are no surprises.

If you are concerned for the well-being of your child in creating a joint custody agreement, don’t hesitate to call our experienced joint custody lawyers today.

Factors in Determining Custody

Custody agreements comprise many different factors and legal considerations, all with the best interest of any children involved in mind. Some factors that may help a court determine joint custody include:

  • Incomes (current and projected) of both parents
  • Cause of the divorce (“blame” establishment)
  • The physical and mental health of both parents
  • Distance between the separate homes post-divorce
  • Financial, medical, and educational needs of children

All of these factors could be considered when a court is determining whether or not joint custody is the appropriate custody agreement for a particular child or children. To make sure that you reach the custody agreement that you want, you might want to consider legal representation.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one is going through custody agreement determination, contact the experienced Monmouth County joint custody attorneys of Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., today at (732) 898-2378. We apply our extensive knowledge of divorce proceedings and custody agreements to help you understand what actions will best help you achieve the outcome you desire.