Monmouth County Child Custody and Support
Located in Central New Jersey, Monmouth County is the fifth-most populous county in the state. There are about 230,000 households there, and about 55% of them are made up of married couples. Over 30% of these households have children under the age of 18 living in them. In some cases, divorce takes the biggest toll on children. If you are dissolving a marriage, you can protect your rights by enlisting the Monmouth County child custody attorneys at Goldstein Law Group. We can provide knowledgeable representation during negotiations or at trial.Key Guidelines Governing Child Custody and Support in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, both parents are equal when it comes to their rights related to their children. "Custody" may be either sole or joint, and it may refer to legal custody or physical custody. A sole custody parent, for example, may have exclusive decision-making authority and may be the person with whom the child lives. However, in many cases, a child lives primarily with one parent, while important decisions for the child are made jointly. In other cases, the child may live equally with both parents, and the parents may share decision-making authority. In New Jersey, courts try to make sure that a non-custodial parent still has an appropriate amount of parenting time with the child.
The court will make a determination about custody based on the children's or child's best interests. The court will emphasize the physical and emotional welfare of the child over the parent's preferences. Judges presume that children are best served when they have frequent, continuing contact with both parents, and both parents share the responsibilities and rights of raising the children.
Among the factors to be considered are the parents' ability to cooperate regarding the child, the relationship between the child and his or her parents, the geographic proximity of the parents' homes, the quality of the child's education, the needs of the child, the age and number of children, and any history of domestic violence.
Both parents owe a duty to financially support their children. Generally, child support is calculated according to a formula that will take into account the parent with whom a child spends most overnights, or whether overnight duties are shared equally between the parents. The court will look at the parental resources that are available to support the child and consider a parent's ability to earn income.
The court will take into account a parent's ability to pay for his or her own necessities, such as rent and food, as well as the child's needs. However, in general, the court will not order a lower child support payment or reduce existing child support obligations to make it easier for a parent to buy luxury items instead of providing for children.Explore Your Options with a Child Custody Attorney in Monmouth County
In some cases, parents can mediate and agree upon a custody arrangement ahead of time. However, the court still will look at whether the arrangement is in the child's best interests. At Goldstein Law Group, our family law lawyers can guide New Jersey residents through matters regarding the custody and support of their children. Contact our Monmouth County child custody lawyers at 732-967-6777 or reach us through our online form for a free consultation.