When parents divorce, they need to decide a number of things regarding their children. It might be that each parent plans on fighting for sole custody of the kids. When it comes to child custody in New Jersey, the courts will ask each parent to give solid proof the children would be better off with them and this is referred to as the better parent standard.
Burden of proof
The court places this standard on parents who are fighting for sole custody of their kids. It is certainly a far cry from joint custody since one or both parents are asking a family court judge to keep the other parent from taking care of their children after the divorce is final. If both parents are seeking sole custody, they each have to show the judge how they are a better parent than their former spouse.
How is the choice made?
The one major earmark a family court judge will use to decide sole custody issues is what he or she perceives to be in the best interests of the children. The judge has to be shown that the children would benefit more from being in the care of one parent, rather than both. A parent needs to provide documented proof of his or her claims, which could include the possibility the children could be in danger if left with the other parent. Proof of income and of an education plan for the children might also bode well.
Even if a parent has all the proof needed to present to a judge, it is vital to get the help of a New Jersey attorney with experience in child custody cases. Knowing what to expect and what to do in court might put one in a better position for a desired outcome. Having the complete knowledge of the better parent standard is crucial for presenting the proper evidence in court.