Child Custody Decisions Made by Judges
Parents with children facing a separation or divorce most often have to face the most challenging issue, who will be given custody of the child or children?
When parents cannot agree on a custody plan, a child custody lawyer will need to become involved, and a child custody case will be started with the court.
When it comes to child custody cases, there are various factors that the judge will take into account before deciding what type of custody arrangement a parent will have.
If you’re wondering what some of the key factors are that influence a judge’s decision, you’ve come to the right place.
We’re going to fill you in on a few New Jersey child custody laws that a judge will consider, and hopefully, it will help educate and prepare you for your child custody case.
NJ Child Custody Cases: Key Factors That Influence Judge’s Decisions
1. Parents Living Situation and Stability of The Home Environment
When you’re working with a child custody attorney that specializes in family law, one thing that they’re going to talk to you about is your living situation. Your home must be suitable and conducive to raising a child within a stable environment.
If your current situation is not ideal, you may be looking at child custody that is not precisely as you’d like it to be. But, there are ways to fix this; for example, knowing what needs to be improved and fixing it to ensure it’s safe and nurturing for your child or children.
Until your living situation is in order, you’ll have to abide by the parenting time arrangement outlined by the court.
2. Parent-Child Relationship
The relationship a child has with their parents will play a large role in the decision that is made by the judge. A judge will evaluate the relationship that a parent had with their child before and after the separation.
Please note that the relationship and interaction with a sibling can play a part as well.
A parent who has not spent much time with the child or children and now wants to be more involved, the judge will consider this when making their final decision.
3. Ages and Number of Children
The ages and number of children are essential when it comes to deciding child custody. If your children are young, the judge may consider this a factor.
As the children become older, the custody may change based on the needs of the children. This is the time whereby children are becoming more capable of making their own intelligent decisions.
4. Child’s Education
A judge will factor in the continuity and quality of the child’s education and the parent’s home’s geographical proximity.
5. Parents History of Domestic Violence, Criminal Behavior and or Substance Abuse
What is best for the child or children is always a primary consideration in any child custody case. The court will weigh all factors of a parent’s history before deciding.
If a parent is deemed unfit, the court may not award them custody or visitation rights. A parent may be deemed unfit for the following: violent behavior and criminal activities such as acts of domestic violence, substance abuse, and sex offenses.
6. Parents Fitness and Health
A parent’s physical and mental health will play a role in determining if the parent can care for the child or children.
7. Parents Employment Responsibilities
Parents work schedule plays a role in the judge’s decision. This becomes part of the parent’s ability to act in the best interest of the child.
If a parent has long work hours and a busy travel schedule with many work responsibilities, the time spent and the quality of care may not be sufficient. In this case, the courts may consider the age of the child or children.
8. Parents Willingness to Agree and Accept
The parent’s ability to agree, cooperate and communicate in all matters relating to the child or children.
The parent’s willingness to accept the custody agreement set forth regarding parenting time and visitation rights.
You may not think this will have any effect, but when it comes to decisions made by judges, a parent’s willingness to agree and accept can affect the outcome.
Child Custody Cases: Doing What’s Best for Your Children
When it comes to child custody cases, you want to ensure that everything you’re doing is to benefit your child. Knowing the factors that a judge will consider is essential to helping you navigate the child custody case proceedings.
The first step to navigating the child custody process is to hire a child custody lawyer. One that has a legal team that has the experience and knowledge to evaluate your situation, put forth a plan of action with the court, so your child custody rights are awarded, and the final agreement is favorable to you.
We hope that reading this guide, 8 Key Factors Influencing Decisions Made By Judges on Child Custody Cases, has provided you with some valuable knowledge regarding judges’ decisions.