During your divorce, one of your main priorities will be to protect the best interests of your children above all else. This means pursuing a custody arrangement that is meaningful for your family with terms that will provide stability and security for years to come. It will be helpful for you to understand how child custody works, including the different types of custody and how they could impact your family.
Legal custody will be an important factor in your custody and visitation order. This refers to your right to make important decisions on behalf of your children. In many cases, New Jersey parents are able to share legal custody, allowing both to have a say in critical aspects of the kids’ lives, even if the kids are not currently under their supervision.
How legal custody works
As a parent, you have the right to have a say in decisions that will have a long-term impact on your child. This includes choices related to religious upbringing, education, health care and more. It may be helpful for you to understand the following facts about legal custody:
- In most cases, a court will award both parents legal custody.
- In specific circumstances, the court may give one parent sole legal custody.
- Joint legal custody means both parents get an equal say in important decisions, but parents may have to compromise when there is a disagreement.
The basis of any custody and visitation terms should be the best interests of the child above all else. Whether the court will make custody decisions, or you and the other parent are negotiating a settlement out of court, it will help to remember that your decisions will have a long-term impact. In your custody agreement, you may want to consider terms that outline how you and the other parent will address and navigate disputes on matters related to decisions you will make for the child.
The best future for your family
You have rights as a parent, and your right to have a say in important aspects of your child’s life does not end simply because of a divorce. It is in your interests to pursue terms that not only allow you to have regular access to your kids, but also the ability to positively influence decisions that will affect their futures.