Custody and parenting time are often the most contentious and stressful decisions that divorcing individuals face. The attorneys at Brause, Brause & Ventrice, L.L.C., possess both the skills and experience to guide our clients toward a fair and equitable resolution that advances their interests and those of their children.Factors in Determining Custody
New Jersey law provides that it is in the public policy of the State of New Jersey to assure minor children of frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage, and that it is in the public interest to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing in order to effect this policy. In any legal proceeding involving the custody of a minor child, the rights of both parents shall be equal and the court shall enter an order which may include:
- Joint custody of a minor child to both parents, which is comprised of legal custody or physical custody which shall include: (1) provisions for residential arrangements so that a child shall reside either solely with one parent or alternatively with each parent in accordance with the needs of the parents and the child; and (2) provisions for consultation between the parents in making major decisions regarding the child's health, education and general welfare;
- Sole custody to one parent with appropriate parenting time for the noncustodial parent; or
- Any other custody arrangement as the court may determine to be in the best interests of the child.
When faced with disputes involving custody and parenting time, the court is guided by what it determines to be the best interest of the child. The court considers several important factors, which include but are not limited to the following:
- The parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child.
- The parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse.
- The interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings.
- The history of domestic violence, if any.
- The safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent. Judges take into account the existence of any restraining orders.
- The preference of the child when of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent decision. The judge will determine what this age is, although the child’s preference is certainly not the sole deciding factor in any custody arrangement.
- The needs of the child. These needs could be medical, emotional, educational or extracurricular. Judges will grant custody to the parent who is better able to fulfill all of these needs.
- The stability of the home environment offered.
- The quality and continuity of the child’s education.
- The fitness of the parents.
- The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes.
- The extent and quality of the time spent with the child prior to or subsequent to the separation.
- The parents’ employment responsibilities.
- The age and number of the children.
Our attorneys are skilled and experienced in handling child custody and parenting time disputes. From our first consultation with you, we will carefully evaluate your particular circumstances to help you choose a course of action that will best serve you and your children to help you move on with your lives while advancing your children's best interests. After considering all of the relevant factors in your case, we will explain in detail whether your interests may be best served by litigation or by some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration. We will ensure that you have all the information that you need to make an informed decision on how to proceed in your case. Once you choose a course of action, we will zealously advocate or negotiate in your behalf. We understand that your paramount concern is the best interest of your children, and we will work to achieve that goal at every stage in the proceedings.
Child custody and parenting time involve complex legal principles that require the experience and knowledge that we at Brause, Brause & Ventrice, L.L.C, are able to offer our clients. Call us to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our Middlesex County child custody attorneys to explain your rights and responsibilities.
Our firm takes pride in its New Jersey roots, serving Middlesex County and the surrounding communities. For a free consultation, call 732-767-0044 or contact us online today to speak with the child custody lawyers at Brause, Brause & Ventrice, L.L.C..