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How Does Joint Custody Work in New Jersey?

When going through a divorce, few things are as important as determining a child custody plan. It is not uncommon for both parents to desire primary custody, and often (but not always) the judge will order joint custody of the child. The following blog explores what you should know about joint custody, including how it works, what the benefits are, and how a New Jersey child custody lawyer can assist you.

What Is Joint Custody?

There are two forms of custody–legal and physical. Legal custody refers to the right to make decisions regarding the education, healthcare, and religion of the child. Physical custody refers to where the child will spend their time.

In most instances, courts in New Jersey will strive to award joint custody if possible because they believe it is, generally, the most beneficial option for the child. Often, this will resemble one parent having the child for the week before alternating with the next parent or each parent getting even time throughout the week with the child, including overnight visits.

What Are the Benefits of a Joint Parenting Plan?

There are many benefits to creating a joint custody plan. Aside from benefiting the child by allowing them to sustain a relationship with both parents, joint custody also helps reduce stress on the parents. When one parent is responsible for making all of the decisions on their own, it can be overwhelming. However, having the input and support from the other parent can help make these decisions less intimidating and overwhelming.

Additionally, this allows both parents to play a role in raising their children, which can help everyone feel more fulfilled. When parents feel like the time they spend with their child is fair, issues are less likely to arise, and the child will have a more stable environment.

What Should I Do if My Ex Is Not Following the Schedule?

Many parents dread saying goodbye to their children when they are scheduled to spend time with their other parent. However, it is necessary to follow the court-ordered schedule. Unfortunately, not all parents share the same sentiment.

If your ex-spouse is not cooperating with the schedule, such as failing to drop off or pick up the children on time or violating any other terms and conditions of the parenting plan, it’s important to respond properly. Though it may be tempting to retaliate, you should not do this. Instead, you should document each violation and give the information to your attorney.

The team at Lawrence Law understands the complexities of child custody issues and will do everything in our power to help you and your family achieve the best possible outcome. Contact us today.

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