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Custody Options in New Jersey

As many divorces are not amicable, there can be jealousy, sadness, and often anger. In addition to hard feelings, there are a multitude of complicated legal issues for parents and the courts to manage. One of those issues, and often a very painful one for parents and children, is custody.

What is Joint ‘Legal’ Custody?

Joint legal custody is when both parents make decisions regarding their child’s life in areas such as healthcare, education, and religion. Parents with joint custody have access to a child’s medical and school records and have the ability to choose if the child attends church or religious education.

Legal custody exempts child support as the courts prefer both parents be involved in the lives and welfare of their children, and will often elect to award joint custody.

What is Physical Custody?

Physical custody, also know as residential custody in some New Jersey courts, determines which parent the child will live with. One parent may have full physical custody while the other one has visitation rights. Structured visitation occurs when there is a set schedule for when one parent sees their child. Joint physical custody includes a schedule of when the child will be with each parent. In certain situations, the child may stay with one parent for longer periods of time.

Custody can impact how child support is calculated. In cases where one parent has full custody of a child, the other parent is usually ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent. Where parents have joint custody, the parent with the higher salary can be ordered to pay child support to the other parent. Courts often order child support even if the parents have joint custody, while considering the type of physical custody agreement parents have, as well.

There are several factors in determining child support formulas in different states, including the number of children, daycare and health insurance costs, and income. While parents may have come to a decision regarding physical custody, there are many factors to sort out during a trying and emotional time. Divorce is a process that changes the family dynamic and has life-changing impacts.

Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein Advocate for Family Law

During this tumultuous time, you can turn to our Cherry Hill divorce lawyers. Building relationships to better meet the needs of our clients is our top priority. We communicate regularly with clients to give and receive updates, address concerns, and answer questions about the legal process.

If your family is facing a divorce or experiencing any other family law conflict, call the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein at 856-544-9155 to schedule a confidential consultation. We serve clients in Cherry Hill, Maple Shade, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel, as well as throughout New Jersey.