New Jersey Custody Lawyer

Divorce is always a difficult matter, but when children are involved, the emotional complexities at hand intensify greatly.  Unfortunately, so do the legal complexities which revolve around determining matters of custody.  When you are already trying to adjust to the personal and financial changes brought about by divorce, trying to navigate the often choppy waters of child custody can feel like an overwhelming burden.

During this challenging and stressful time, you shouldn’t have to face confusing and alien legal procedures on your own without the benefit of professional guidance.  A custody lawyer from the family law firm of Maselli Warren can help you understand how child custody works in New Jersey, and will walk you through every step of the process with compassion, care, and respect. To schedule a free and completely confidential legal consultation, call our law offices today at (800) 891-2657.  We can start exploring your legal options together.

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Maselli Warren: New Jersey Child Custody Attorneys

In matters of custody determination, the most valuable thing in every parent’s life is at stake: time with their child.  Because custody is awarded by a judge, who will make a determination after reviewing the merits and resources of each parent as a caregiver, having the support of an aggressive and experienced attorney is of the utmost importance.

At the law offices of Maselli Warren, our attorneys are supported by more than 25 years of experience.  We bring decades of practical knowledge to each and every case that we handle, and we know how to achieve excellent results for our clients.  We serve communities throughout New Jersey, including but not limited to:

  • Burlington
  • Hamilton
  • Lawrenceville
  • Mercer County
  • Monmouth County
  • Monroe
  • Plainsboro
  • Princeton
  • Somerset County
  • Trenton
  • Warren County

Types of Child Custody

Before addressing determination, it’s important to understand which types of child custody are available.  They include:

  • Legal Custody.  Refers to important legal decisions throughout the child’s life, including but not limited to issues like medical care, schooling, military service, and marriage.  Legal custody may be sole (one parent does not need to consult with the other), or joint (the parents work together to make decisions).
  • Physical Custody.  Refers to where the child will physically reside.  Physical custody may be joint (the child splits his or her time evenly between parents), shared (the child spends more than two nights per week with one parent), or sole (the child spends the majority of his or her time living with one parent).

While custody may be passed to grandparents in exceptionally rare cases, one or both parents are granted custody the majority of the time.

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How is Child Custody Decided in New Jersey?

If the parents cannot agree to a plan on their own or with the assistance of a professional mediator, child custody is ultimately decided by the judge who is reviewing your case. Contrary to popular belief, the judge does not simply “give everything to the mother.” Custody awards are based on parenting ability, not gender.

The judge will evaluate the child’s quality of life with each parent by looking at factors like:

  • Relationship to parents.  If the child is old enough to express a preference, which parent does the child prefer?
  • Criminal history.  Does either parent have a criminal history, particularly a record of kidnapping or abuse?  Will the child be physically and emotionally safe?
  • Family ties.  Will the child be separated from his or her siblings?
  • Home environment.  Would each parent’s home offer a stable environment?  Are the parents equipped with the time, money, and energy to care for a child?
  • Health.  Is one parent in very poor health?  Is one parent significantly older than the other?
  • Education.  If the child moves, will his or her education be adversely affected?

Child custody battles can become lengthy, bitter, and costly.  An experienced New Jersey custody lawyer can help keep the process as simple and efficient as possible.  To schedule a free and private case evaluation, call the law offices of Maselli Warren at (800) 891-2657, or contact us online.