If you share parenting responsibilities with your child's other parent, you know that it takes a team effort to do so effectively. Whether you are going through a divorce or have always been separated, you may need to make a change to your child custody arrangement. So, what can one expect when looking at the child custody process? The answer is that it's different for every family.
Custody is a major consideration for any parents who choose to go through divorce. And physical custody involves the decision of where a child should live and which parent should be responsible for their day-to-day needs once their parents' marriage has ended. In New Jersey, there are a number of considerations that courts undertake before they make decisions about the physical custody of children.
Along with child custody, child support is one of the most important issues that New Jersey parents must work out to allow their kids to continue to live loved and supported after their parents' divorces. Child support is generally established through statewide guidelines, though variations to those calculations can be permissible when such actions are necessary to protect the needs of the children. However, as parents know, the needs of children can change over time and can impose greater demands on the financial resources of their caregivers.
The end of a marital relationship can be traumatic on two people who believed that they would stay together until the ends of their lives. While they come to terms with filing for divorce, their children may go through their own crises as they worry about where they will live, who will care for them and what unexpected changes will come their way as their parents move on with separate lives. These concerns are not uncommon for New Jersey children who are fearful of what the future will bring once their parents' divorces are finalized.
When a parent brings a child into their family through birth or adoption, they take on the responsibility of providing that child with what they need to live. In New Jersey and throughout the rest of the country, that can mean ensuring that the child has shelter, food, clothing, access to education, healthcare and many other necessities. A parent must also provide a child with love and emotional support, but it is the other requirements that will impose financial strains on their wages and income.
Modification of a child custody agreement is not a matter taken lightly by any court. If both parties are in agreement regarding the change, then an oral agreement is acceptable. However, it is always advisable to place any type of custody agreement or change in writing with the signatures of all parties involved.
Child custody laws are an important concern for any divorcing parents. Understanding child custody laws in New Jersey can help parents anticipate what to expect from the process and how to reach a child custody agreement that works for them.