Child Support, Custody And Parenting Time FAQ
At the Law Office of Edward Fradkin, LLC, we represent clients in a wide range of complex child support, custody and parenting time cases. In every case, Mr. Fradkin pledges to always be available to his clients and answer any questions or concerns they may have during this uncertain time in their lives.
What is the standard in deciding custody?
In New Jersey, the court’s main consideration for determining custody is “the best interest of the child.” The court will take into account factors such as the child’s age, gender, health and established living pattern, as well as the parents’ lifestyles. N.J.S.A. 9:2-4(c) states that in making an award of custody, the court shall consider but not be limited to the following factors:
1. The parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child;
2. The parents’ willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse;
3. The interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings;
4. The history of domestic violence, if any;
5. The safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent;
6. The preference of the child when of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent decision;
7. The needs of the child;
8. The stability of the home environment offered;
9. The quality and continuity of the child’s education;
10. The fitness of the parents;
11. The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes;
12. The extent and quality of the time spent with the child prior to or subsequent to the separation;
13. The parents’ employment responsibilities; and
14. The age and number of the children.
What does “parent of primary residence” mean?
Under New Jersey law one parent will in a majority of cases be referred to as the “parent of primary residence (PPR),” whereas the other is the “parent of alternate residence (PAR).” These distinctions become relevant in issues of child support payment and life decisions for the child, such as what school district a child will attend.
What is sole parenting, and how is it different from shared parenting?
In New Jersey, these terms become relevant when determining the amount of child support that the Parent of Primary Residence (PPR) will receive from the Parent of Alternate Residence (PAR) under the Child Support Guidelines. The Sole Parenting Worksheet is utilized when the PAR has less than 2 overnights per week with the child on average as a regular parenting time schedule. When the PAR has on average 2 or more overnights per week with the child for a regular parenting time schedule then the Shared Parenting Worksheet is used to determine the PAR’s child support obligation.
What is “joint legal custody” as opposed to “sole legal custody?”
“Joint legal custody” is typical in New Jersey. It refers to an arrangement in which both parents make major life decisions about the child. In instances of “sole legal custody”, which is rarer, only one parent makes major life decisions for the child. The public policy of New Jersey, as set forth in N.J.S.A. 9:2-4 is “to assure minor children of frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage and that it is in the public interest to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing in order to effect this policy.”
Do courts favor one gender in custody cases?
The courts should not exercise any prejudice or bias based on gender when making a custody or parenting decision. In fact, N.J.S.A. 9:2-4 specifically states that in “any proceeding involving the custody of a minor child, the rights of both parents shall be equal.” An experienced New Jersey divorce attorney can help ensure that, regardless of your gender, your rights and interests are protected throughout any court proceedings.
Will my child need to appear in court?
There could be a situation where your child is interviewed by the Judge as part of your case. Rule 5:8-6 provides that the court may on its own or at the request of either party conduct an interview of a child.