As parents go through the divorce process, decisions must be made regarding the care and support of their children. There are various legal and physical scenarios that may occur, and it is important to understand that physical custody is different than visitation, also known as parenting time. In some cases, one parent is awarded sole physical custody, but parenting time is ordered so that the non-custodial parent can spend time with and maintain a close relationship with the child. In other cases, the physical custody is shared jointly.
A New Jersey appellate court has determined that a person does not necessarily have to be related to a child through blood or adoption in order to have visitation rights or share in child custody. Under the psychological parent doctrine, if the court determines that the adult lived with or cared for a child for a significant amount of time, then granting visitation rights or even custody with to non-biological parent may serve the best interests of the child.
Most parents want the best for their children, but this doesn't mean that they always agree on what that might be. For those parents who are not together, there are many areas that need consideration. Agreements on parenting time need to be reached, visitation rights need to be discussed, and child support needs to be determined. New Jersey law aims to resolve these matters fairly and in a manner that most benefits the child.
One of the things that make child custody decisions difficult is relocation issues. This is when the custodial parent seeks to move away to another geographical location with the child. Since the best interests of the child have always been of utmost importance in child custody issues, a move-away could open up a number of complications and put a strain on the relationship of the child with his or her parents.
Child custody issues are not exclusive to New Jersey residents. They are nationwide issues and do not exclude any ethnicities or cultures. Child custody is a sensitive issue that should be handled with utmost care. The best interest of the child should be kept in mind at all times while making any decisions. It is also a cause of great anxiety for all parties involved, especially with the precious parenting time it can take away from each parent.
Most people in Essex County believe that it is in a child's best interest to have both parents in his or her life. Obviously, this is not always the case, but most of the time it is. For a long time, New Jersey family law courts favored the mother when it came to assigning parenting time. If the father got any time with his children it was certainly not close to half. Though the law no longer favors one parent over the other, there are some men who still believe that fathers' rights are not given as much respect as mothers' rights.