There is no one-size-fits-all custody strategy, and the ideal custody order for you depends on factors that are specific to you and unique to your situation. Whether it is in the courtroom or around the negotiating table, the best interests of the child are the primary concern of the court and the main focus of any custody and visitation order. It is helpful to understand how that standard is determined as you seek terms that will be sustainable and beneficial for years to come.
While divorce is emotional, how you feel in the moment is rarely the best indicator of what you should pursue for your final divorce order. Your emotions can change, and it is usually best to focus on the needs of the kids over your own feelings. As you consider your custody order and visitation terms, you may benefit from experienced guidance as you make important and potentially life-altering choices for your family.
The considerations of the court
You know that a New Jersey family court will consider the best interests of the child above everything else, but there are specific factors the court will look at and certain issues to carefully weigh when determining what is truly best for a child in a specific situation. Some of these specific factors include:
- The age of the children, the parent-child bond, the maturity levels of the kids and how a divorce is likely to impact them long-term.
- Courts will prefer a child custody and visitation schedule that allows for the kids to have as much consistency as possible in their everyday routines and continuity of lifestyle.
- It is important to have proof of your parenting ability, including your role in the lives of your kids, your presence at major events and your ability to provide for them.
- A court will also likely consider the possible impact that any major changes will have on the life of your kids and possible harm they could suffer as a result.
Parental rights and the needs of your kids
It is possible to seek terms that will allow you to shield the best interests of your kids while also protecting your own parental rights. You have the right to fight for both of these things and seek terms that you believe will be truly beneficial for your children. If you are unsure of how to determine what will be best or what steps to take, you may find it helpful to seek the guidance of an experienced professional.