Freehold Child Custody and Support

Family Law Lawyers Advising Freehold Residents

Freehold is a township in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Its population as of 2010 was about 36,000 residents. As of 2000, the township had 11,000 households, of which 38% included kids under the age of 18. Divorce and child custody can be especially challenging when there are children involved. Some crucial determinations include where the children will live after the divorce, how much parenting time each parent will get, and how much support will need to be paid to make sure the children are well taken care of. At Goldstein Law Group, our Freehold child custody attorneys can represent people who are going through these proceedings.

Establishing Child Custody and Support

In New Jersey, child support is calculated using complex guidelines that consider the net income of the spouses, which are gross incomes minus permitted deductions such as income tax, court-ordered child support for children from other relationships, mandatory union dues, and more. An "Income Shares Model" is used. Most of the time, child support can be calculated by using worksheets, but there are situations in which it may be necessary to ask the court for a deviation. For example, a different plan for child support may be necessary for a special needs child who may never support him or herself. Similarly, if one parent is incredibly wealthy, it may be necessary to deviate from the guidelines.

Child support depends partially on a consideration of child custody. If one parent is the sole custodian of the children, that parent will likely pay more costs associated with raising the children. In contrast, if the parents have roughly equal parenting time with the child, it is assumed that they are each paying daily expenses for the child when the child is with them. This means the support may be less. Shared parenting occurs when the parent with whom the child does not primarily live has between 28% and 50% of overnights over the course of the year.

While parents' preferences may receive consideration from the court, the judge will always focus on the children's best interest. A child custody lawyer in Freehold can explain how this standard may apply in your situation. Judges consider how the parents communicate, educational concerns, parental fitness, the geographical proximity of the homes, the child's relationship with his or her siblings, and the age and number of the children. When children are old enough, their preferences may be given some weight.

Custody has two parts: legal and physical. Each of these parts may be joint or sole. Legal custody refers to the authority to make important decisions for the child, such as where he or she goes to school, who the child’s doctor is, and what religious beliefs are observed. Physical custody refers to the amount of time spent with the child. One of the parents' homes will be considered the primary residence, but the other parent may still get half of the parenting time depending on the child's best interests. In general, joint custody, whether legal or physical, requires parents to make efforts to communicate clearly with each other. It is sometimes harder to have joint custody in a very acrimonious divorce.

Enlist a Child Custody Attorney in Freehold to Protect Your Interests

Crucial considerations during a divorce include how much time each parent spends with the children, how the children are raised, and how much financial support they are entitled to receive. If you are concerned about child custody and support, our divorce lawyers may be able to help you. Goldstein Law Group runs a sophisticated family law practice with a main office in Old Bridge and a satellite office in Freehold. Contact us at 732-967-6777 or via our online form for a free consultation with a Freehold child custody lawyer.

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