Rumson Child Custody and Support

Family Law Attorneys Serving Rumson Residents

Rumson is a borough of Monmouth County, New Jersey. Its population as of 2010 consisted of about 7,000 people. Nearly half of the households there had minor children living in them. Divorce sometimes hits the children of a family the hardest. Among the issues that can particularly affect children are court orders related to custody and support. The experienced Rumson child custody lawyers at Goldstein Law Group can help protect your family's interests during a divorce.

Establishing Child Custody and Support Obligations in New Jersey

In New Jersey, child custody can be sole custody or joint custody, and it involves decisions related to both legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make significant decisions for children, such as who their doctor is, what school they will go to, and what religious observances they will follow. Physical custody refers to not only which parent a child primarily lives with, but also the amount of parenting time each parent gets. New Jersey courts presume that children benefit by having both parents be involved. It can, however, be difficult for some parents to cooperate sufficiently to share joint custody.

The court's primary concern is that a child's best interests are served. All custody decisions are determined based on a court's findings related to a child's best interests, and the child's welfare is prioritized over parental preferences. Factors to be considered include a child's specific needs, the age and number of children, a child's education, the geographic proximity of the houses, the relationship between the parents and the children, and any history of abuse.

The court is required to find out a child's preference once he or she is sufficiently mature. There is no strict rule about when a child is mature enough to express a preference that should be considered, but generally custody preferences of children under the age of 12 are given little weight. While the judge does not have to follow a mature child's custody wishes, the preference should be taken into consideration.

It is unusual for children to testify at their parents' custody trial. They may testify in case of an emergency. Usually, however, a parent requests that the court interview the child about his or her preferences in chambers. The parents' attorneys can attend and provide questions for the judge to ask. Alternatively, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem who can determine the child's preferences and needs and present this to the court.

Custody can affect child support. There is a formula to determine child support, and it considers which parent spends the most overnights with a child (or whether the child is equally with both), as well as parental resources and income. The more equal the amount of time spent by the parents, the less support is usually given to one parent for the child's benefit. This is because the court assumes that whichever parent is actually with the child will pay for the child's daily expenses for food and activities.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer in Rumson

Child custody and support considerations can take an emotional toll on both the parents and children during a divorce. The Rumson child custody attorneys at Goldstein Law Group understand how difficult these issues can be for all of the parties, and we can try to minimize the drama surrounding the proceedings and advocate for your child's best interests as you see them. Contact our family law lawyers for a consultation at 732-967-6777 or via our online form.

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