Determining the primary caretaker of a child in New Jersey

Child custody battles are all too common because of the high divorce rate in the country. Due to these battles, courts will need to determine the primary caretaker of a child involved. The laws of New Jersey are similar to many other states, but there are some differences.

One of the most common ways a family law court determines the primary caretaker is via the best interest of the child. Should the children be old enough, the court will typically take into consideration the preference of the child. Along with the child's preference, the court will examine the physical and mental health of the parents, evidence of parental drug or alcohol abuse, the child's relationship with other members of the household and other factors.

For the most part, the parent might be able to argue on his or her own behalf for primary caretaker of the child. This can be done by providing a slew of evidence for the court in order to make a decision. The factors include the following:

-- Planning and preparation of meals

-- Bathing, dressing and grooming of the child

-- Teaching of reading, writing, math and other skills

-- Health care arrangements

-- Purchasing of the clothes and the laundry responsibilities

-- Ability to foster participation in extracurricular activities

There are plenty of other factors that a court could take into account when determining the primary caretaker for a child in a custody case. Some of those other factors include if the child is exposed to second-hand smoke by a parent and if the parent volunteers at the child's school.

Should it appear that both parents spend an equal amount of time involved in their child's life, the court will fall back on the best interest of the child notion to make the final determination.

An experienced family law attorney in Atlantic City, New Jersey can answer all of your questions regarding child custody laws in the state and your rights.

Source: Findlaw, "New Jersey Child Custody Laws," accessed Feb. 20, 2017

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