Child custody cases can be contentious and complex especially when divorcing spouses have conflicting interests. However, there are ways for spouses to work together civilly and focus on their children's best interests. Resolving child custody issues can be made less stressful by consulting a family law attorney who can help you achieve the outcome you're aiming for. Here are some things a reputable attorney should be able to address:
Sole custody vs. Joint custody
In sole custody, one parent has nearly all of the rights and responsibilities related to raising the child. Joint custody, on the other hand, entails parents equally sharing the rights and responsibilities related to raising the child, although the amount of time they each get to spend with their child may not be perfectly equal. Note that in a joint physical custody, one parent may be ordered to make child support payments to the other parent.
How the courts determine what kind of custody to award
Generally speaking, the courts will consider the child’s best interests when determining who gets custody. They’ll look at certain factors such as the child’s age, sex, relationship with each parent and siblings, and their development. If a child is old enough, the court may consider his or her preferences.
Bear in mind that the court typically identifies the parent most likely to provide a better home environment for the child. That means that a parent with a history of violence or drug use will likely have poor chances of gaining custody.
How to know when to go to court
In some states, parents are required to attend mediation before a court will hear the case. A good lawyer should be able to facilitate mediation between parents, so that they can reach an agreement without taking the case to court.
Reaching an out-of-court settlement is always preferable because it will allow both parents to hash out an ideal visitation schedule that works for them. Additionally, they spend less on legal expenses when lawyers do not need to argue in front of a judge.
Parents who fail to find a middle ground will likely need to go to court for a judge to decide custody.
Overturning a court order
It’s possible to overturn a court order, but it requires a high level of justification. The parent seeking to change the order should be able to provide a material change in circumstances that justifies making the change.
How a good lawyer helps settle a custody dispute in New Jersey
A good family law attorney takes all extenuating factors into account when handling child custody cases. Clients can rest assured that their children’s rights and well-being are given the utmost priority.
KMH&L Attorneys are New Jersey child custody experts who can evaluate all pertinent details pertaining to your child custody case. Our attorneys can help evaluate the physical and psychological health of all parties, evidence of parenting and disciplining styles, interactions with other household members, and other crucial factors.
We provide quality, committed legal representation and consultation for personal injury, real estate, and family law cases. Learn more about what we can do for you — schedule an appointment today.