Divorce is rarely a simple process in New Jersey, especially for those who have been married for any length of time. Getting divorced can be particularly complicated for those who have children, as they must decide who will end up keeping the children following their split-up. Two important considerations when addressing child custody are who will ultimately be the custody decision-maker and what factors will be taken into consideration for the custody decision.
In many situations, the parents come to an agreement outside of court regarding visitation and child custody. This is possible through a process such as collaborative divorce or mediation, which are alternative processes to traditional divorce litigation. Informal negotiations may also lead to a child custody agreement that is mutually satisfactory and beneficial, in addition to being pleasing to the children affected by it.
However, if the parents cannot see eye to eye on who keeps the children, then they must go to a judge to have this decision made for them. It is generally not easy to predict who will end up getting custody of the children. However, the court will take into consideration several preferences and factors when arriving at the custody decision.
One important consideration in a court child custody case in New Jersey is who the children's primary caretaker is. The court will also consider the preferences of the children. However, the court's main focus is making a child custody decision that will ultimately be in the children's best interest in the long run.
Source: findlaw.com, "Child Custody Basics", Accessed on Oct. 24, 2017