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Do mothers automatically get custody in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Child Custody

When it comes to divorce and child custody, misconceptions can lead to confusion and anxiety. One common belief is that mothers automatically receive custody of their children in a divorce. This notion stems from historical practices and societal expectations that have emphasized the mother’s role as the primary caregiver.

However, child custody laws and decisions are far more complex than this assumption implies. In New Jersey, as in many other states, the courts do not automatically favor one parent over the other.

Best interest of the child

New Jersey courts make custody decisions based on what they determine to be in the best interest of the child. This means evaluating factors such as the child’s age, the ability of each parent to provide for the child, the child’s relationship with each parent and the stability of each parent’s home environment.

Joint custody as an option

In many cases, New Jersey courts prefer to award joint custody, allowing both parents to share in the responsibilities and decision-making for the child. This arrangement recognizes the importance of both parents in the child’s life and aims to foster a cooperative relationship between them.

Factors that can influence the decision

While gender does not play a role in custody decisions, other factors can significantly influence the outcome. These may include each parent’s work schedule, the child’s school location, any history of domestic violence and the willingness of each parent to support the child’s relationship with the other parent.

The misconception that mothers automatically get custody in a New Jersey divorce is just that – a misconception. If you find yourself facing a divorce and feeling concerned about custody arrangements, understanding the laws and knowing what to expect can make the process less stressful.


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