If you’re going through a custody battle in the state of New Jersey, it’s important that you understand the different types of child custody available to you. The most commonly talked about types of custody are sole legal custody and joint legal custody. In a nutshell, sole legal custody means that one parent is granted the right to custody of the child while joint legal custody gives both parents the right of shared custody and decision-making.
Sole legal custody
New Jersey family law defines sole legal custody as having the ability to make all decisions regarding the life and well-being of a child. These decisions include things like schooling, medical care, housing and even religion. For this type of custody, the parent doesn’t have to take any other parents’ wishes or opinions into consideration when determining the child’s upbringing.
Joint legal custody
In cases of joint legal custody, both parents share in making a child’s major decisions about their upbringing. With this type of arrangement, both parents need to communicate with one another about common upbringing decisions such as religion, housing and schooling. In the event that both parents have legal custody of the child and one parent makes a decision without consulting the other, that parent can be found in contempt of court.
As you proceed through the child custody process, it’s important to keep your child’s best interests in mind. While you might want to make all the decisions regarding the upbringing of your children without having to consult your ex, this could be detrimental to the relationship between your children and your former spouse. It’s highly advisable that you take the time to consider whether sole legal custody or joint legal custody is the best determination for your situation.