Any New Jersey parent who is currently facing co-parenting problems will want to carefully research state laws before taking any type of action in court. Child custody laws vary by state and can bear significant impact on a parent’s decisions as far as how to address a particular legal matter. There is also a difference between legal custody of a child and physical custody; a concerned parent will want to seek clarification for better understanding in order to know where he or she might stand in the eyes of the court in a given situation.
Fans of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” may be closely following Khloe Kardashian’s child custody situation with her daughter’s biological father. The two parents were not married to each other when the child was born. In the state where Kardashian gave birth, an unwed mother automatically gains sole legal and physical custody of a child. Depending on circumstances, however, that initial determination is subject to change based upon the best interests of the child involved.
Legal custody involves the authority to make life decisions on behalf of a child, such as those involving medical issues, education or religion. Physical custody pertains to the child’s primary residence. In a situation like Kardashian’s, a biological father would first have to legally establish paternity before requesting that the court issue an order that is consistent with his fathers’ rights regarding custody and visitation.
If a New Jersey parent is concerned about legal or physical custody, as well as issues regarding child support or visitation, it is always a good idea to speak to someone well-versed in family law in this state before determining a best course of action. Once the court issues an order, it is not necessarily a final and permanent action because the court has full discretion to grant modification of an existing court order upon any valid request from one parent or the other. It remains to be seen what the ultimate child custody and visitation arrangements will be in Khloe’s situation.