Types of Child Custody Arrangements

Child Custody Attorneys

Child custody agreements can take a number of forms for New Jersey co-parents. While each family and each case is unique, there are several more common types of child custody agreements which are typically reached during a divorce in New Jersey.. Whether you are unmarried co-parents or parents going through a divorce, coming to an amicable child custody agreement is a great way to care for your children and protect your parental rights.

The child custody attorneys of Jacobs Berger believe that one size does not fit all when it comes to child custody agreements. For this and many other reasons, we take pride in offering personalized and dynamic legal solutions. Our team of qualified divorce and family law attorneys seeks to mitigate the financial and emotional stresses of divorce through open communication and cooperative conflict resolution.

Call our office today for a confidential and comprehensive case assessment regarding your child custody questions and concerns or to discuss any other family law matter.

Physical and Legal Child Custody Agreement Lawyers

New Jersey state law considers child custody as two separate legal issues: physical custody and legal custody. Our Madison child custody arrangement lawyers work within these two child custody areas to create the best possible agreement between our clients and their co-parents.

Physical Child Custody – traditionally what most people think of when they think “child custody”, physical child custody refers to where the child lives and spends his or her overnights. This may also be referred to as residential custody.

Legal Child Custody – the right to make decisions in children’s lives is called legal child custody. While small decisions including daily activities, clothing, and food will be determined by the caregiver at the time, all major choices fall under the concept of legal child custody. Examples of choices which require input from legal child custodians can include religious considerations, medical treatments, choice of school, and more.

Child Custody Attorneys Discuss Common Child Custody Arrangements

In the vast majority of cases, legal child custody is retained by both parents. Exceptions may include situations where one parent is mentally unfit, is not readily available to make decisions, or if they voluntarily forfeit their right to participate in the decision-making process. That being said, our Randolph child custody attorneys commonly draft agreements that include one of the following physical custody arrangements.

Sole Physical Custody – “sole” child custody does not mean that the non-custodial parent never sees or has custody of the child. This arrangement refers to a child spending fewer than two (2) overnights with the non-custodial parent per week.

Shared Physical Custody – in a shared custody arrangement, both parents have the child for two (2) or more overnights, though the time is not necessarily split evenly. This type of arrangement can be flexible to adhere to the schedules of co-parents and can take many different forms including weekends with dad and weekdays with mom, alternating full weeks, and more.

Joint Physical Custody – when co-parents commit to splitting a child’s time equally, that is considered joint child custody. This is not as common as shared custody arrangements as the practicalities of coordination can sometimes outweigh the potential benefits.

Parenting Time and Visitation Lawyers

Parenting time, or as it was formerly known, “visitation”, is quality time that children spend with non-custodial parents. The term visitation has been phased out as a legal term due to the fact that it gives a sense that parents are merely visiting with children rather than providing full parental care. Parenting time is built into many child custody agreements, particularly when one parent has sole custody or shared custody which is one-sided in nature.

Parenting time is determined along the same lines as child custody and is therefore protected by child custody agreements as well. In other words, just because the scheduled time you spend with your child is considered parenting time rather than custody, that does not make your rights any less enforceable. Failure to adhere to agreed upon parenting time is viewed similarly to failure to adhere to custody arrangements.

Contact our Child Custody Agreement Attorneys Today

At Jacobs Berger, our child custody agreement attorneys view their role in the child custody process as one where they give practical, goal-oriented advice designed to weigh options and plan for long-term sustainable success. We believe in offering alternative solutions to fit the individual needs of our clients including mediation and arbitration. Lean on our experience and knowledge of New Jersey family law to help you reach an amicable and mutually beneficial child custody agreement as we have done for clients across New Jersey.

Please contact us online or through our Morristown offices by calling (973) 710-4366 today for a comprehensive and confidential Strategic Planning Session with a member of our qualified legal staff regarding your questions and concerns when it comes to child custody.