New Jersey parents who divorce typically face numerous issues regarding future co-parenting plans. In a perfect world, all parents would be willing to cooperate and compromise for their children’s sake, making it easy to devise plans in an amicable fashion. In reality, that may not be possible if parents disagree about what is best for their kids. In fact, such disagreements often lead litigation, where parents seek the court’s intervention to make child custody decisions.

Most judges believe shared custody is best when it comes to helping children transition from living with both parents to adapting to a post-divorce lifestyle. There are certain circumstances under which a judge may determine that such an arrangement would be a detriment to the children involved. For instance, if one parent shows the court evidence that the other parent has a substance abuse problem, the judge overseeing the case may be prompted to order supervised visitation or to prohibit the parent in question from seeing his or her children unless and until he or she seeks rehabilitation for his or her addiction.

Most judges will see right through revenge schemes. A parent who wishes to get back at a co-parent for past marital hurts by trying to wage a custody war is not likely to get very far in court without being able to show just cause for his or her petition. The court does not take lightly to false accusations of physical or substance abuse either.

A New Jersey judge reviewing a child custody case will want information regarding which parent has been the primary caretaker of the children during marriage. Other issues, such as each parent’s income, standard of living to which the children are accustomed and perhaps even the children’s opinions (if they are older) may influence the court’s decisions. An experienced family law attorney can help a concerned parent build a strong case if his or her former spouse is suing for custody.