Experienced North Brunswick Child Custody Lawyer Fights for Your Family’s Future
A New Jersey child custody attorney you can trust to find a solution
Though your relationship with your ex-spouse or soon-to-be ex-spouse may be over, you want your relationship with your children to stay strong. Building a parenting plan that works for your family isn’t always easy, but with the right legal assistance you can make it happen. I’m attorney Deborah A. Rose, and I have nearly 35 years of experience in New Jersey’s family court system. My North Brunswick-based firm helps clients around the state reach practical, sensible custody arrangements that are truly in the best interests of your child.
The basics of child custody in New Jersey
New Jersey law recognizes several types of custody arrangements:
- Joint legal custody — In this arrangement, the children reside primarily with one parent and the other parent has specific parenting time but major decisions are made jointly. This is the most common form of custody arrangement.
- Joint physical and legal custody — In this arrangement, both parents are considered residential custodians and the children share time in each household in various ways including equal or nearly equal time.
- Sole custody – This arrangement is rarely used anymore but is done mostly when one parent has not been a participant in the child’s life. That parent, however, generally will have visitation time with the children but the custodial parent makes all major decisions.
Within these forms of custody, the law allows parents to reach several possible arrangements, depending on the unique circumstances of the family.
Understanding common custody terms in New Jersey
There are a variety of possible outcomes for custody and parenting time determinations, including:
- Parent of Primary Residence (PPR) and Parent of Alternate Residence (PAR) — Typically, one parent becomes the parent of primary residence (PPR) and the other becomes the parent of alternate residence (PAR) when joint legal custody is arranged. The parents are expected to collaborate when making major decisions affecting the child, such as health care and education. The PPR has the right to make the more routine, day-to-day decisions but the PAR makes day-to-day decisions when the children are in his or her custody during parenting time.
- Parenting time – New Jersey does not use the term “visitation” much anymore since that term doesn’t sound as if both parties are actually participating as true and full parents to the children. “Parenting time” makes everyone, including the children, realize that even if one parent exercises less overnight time, it doesn’t mean that that person is less of a parent than the other one.
- Joint legal and residential custody —This arrangement usually resembles the “alternating weeks” style of custody that many people think of during a divorce. However, the parties are free to make any type of overnight arrangement that best suits the children’s and their schedules as long as both parents exercise large and, generally equal, parenting time.
- Sole legal and physical custody —This arrangement gives one parent sole decision-making power and sole physical custody. It does not prevent the other parent from exercising visitation on either specified or agreed upon times. In New Jersey, this arrangement is no longer very common because the law presumes that both parents are equally capable of exercising custody. The parent who wants this type of arrangement has to show the court that there is a strong basis for doing so.
As an experienced attorney, I’ll help you identify your needs, work through the emotions and anxiety and give you the information you need to make thoughtful decisions as we work through the legal process together.
Contact an experienced Middlesex County child custody lawyer
If you need help resolving a child custody issue in New Jersey, call Deborah A. Rose, PC in North Brunswick. You can call my office at 732-821-3055 or contact me online anytime.