East Brunswick Divorce Lawyers
Located in Middlesex County on the shores of the Raritan River, East Brunswick is a New Jersey township that was incorporated in 1860 from parts of North Brunswick and Monroe townships. It was once populated by the Lenape Native Americans. The township's population stood at nearly 50,000 residents as of 2010. Over one-third of the households in East Brunswick have at least one child under 18. Divorce disputes may require the assistance of a skilled family law lawyer when children are involved. The attorneys at Goldstein Law Group have over 100 years of combined experience advocating for our clients' interests in child custody and visitation matters.Child Custody in New Jersey
New Jersey courts are required to consider the best interests of the children involved when making child custody arrangements. The court presumes that children benefit from continued contact with both parents and having both parents share in their rearing. A child's "best interest" can be difficult to evaluate, but New Jersey law describes the factors that should be assessed when determining a child's best interest: physical health and safety, emotional needs, the parents' parenting styles and communication skills, and geographic distance to school and similar practical concerns.
Parents are permitted to make decisions for themselves about how best to share parenting time, as long as the child's best interests are addressed. The court will make a decision if the parents cannot agree or require them to attend mediation. In some very heated cases, the court will appoint an attorney (a guardian ad-litem) to represent the child's best interests.
Custody has two components: legal custody and physical custody. There is no favored parenting arrangement. In fact, the law approaches a custody dispute with both parents having an equal right to parent their children, a rebuttable presumption that may be shifted more towards one parent having more time than the other parent, based on many factors. Joint legal custody is common, but usually the court designates a primary custodial parent. The designation of a primary custodial parent (the P.P.R., which stands for the parent of primary residence) will affect child support.
Some parents are concerned about the marital home. They may not want to disrupt their children's physical residence, even though they are getting a divorce. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. There are three ways to fairly distribute the home: sell the house, arrange a buyout by one parent of the other parent’s interest, or continue to co-own the house. The easiest option is the first one. In many cases, especially since 2008/2009 when the real estate market suffered tremendously, it is a common occurrence where neither parent can afford to buy out the other parent or keep up with the expense of paying the mortgage and keeping up the home after divorce.
However, for some parents, such as parents of high school students, it may be possible or in the child’s best interest to maintain the status quo and keep the marital home, to allow their child to finish high school. It depends how close to completing the child’s senior year they may be. They may continue to own the house together without any buyout or refinancing so that the kids can finish at the same school. One parent moves out, and then the house is sold after the children graduate. This option is possible, but it can be challenging unless the divorcing spouses are motivated to continue working together on keeping up the house and have a cooperative communication style. If there is spousal support (alimony) that would otherwise be paid by one spouse to the other as part of their settlement, the agreement may also contemplate a suspension or deferral of commencement of that alimony obligation until the house is sold and, instead, the carrying costs of the house are factored into the support arrangement for the temporary period until the house is sold.Discuss Your Divorce Proceeding with an East Brunswick Lawyer
At Goldstein Law Group, we understand how challenging child custody and property division may be for individuals in East Brunswick and other communities across the state. Our family law attorneys serve as vigorous advocates for our clients' interests before mediators and the court. Visit us at our main office in Old Bridge or our satellite office in Freehold, New Jersey. You can reach us at 732-967-6777 or via our online form.