A child custody hearing in New Jersey can be contentious for several reasons. Some parents truly want to spend as much time as possible with their children. Then, there are those who may be simply trying to get out of paying a high child support amount. Judges who have experience in these cases understand that the parents are going through a number of emotions and concerns, so the best interests of the child legal standard is used to bypass whatever quarrels are occurring between the parents. Here are some issues included in this legal standard.
Age of child
The age of the child is taken into consideration during a child custody case. When they are young, children require more hands-on care. The parent who has been the primary caregiver is likely the one who is going to receive more consideration.
Consistency for child
Studies show that children require consistency. When they are school age, for example, they need routine to help them keep learning and developing in a positive manner. A judge is trying to not disrupt the child’s life, so access to family members, school and child care is taken into consideration, too. Long-term impact will play a role as some parents have to relocate in order to access family support.
Evidence of parenting ability
A parent has to be able to meet the child’s needs from physical to emotional. Children require food, shelter and clothing as well as medical care, education and emotional support. Parental guidance does not get overlooked. Parents who have had physical and mental health issues should know that a judge takes a look at that as well.
Child custody judges are trying to ensure that the child is going to be safe. If there is evidence or a belief that safety could be compromised, it is factored into the decision.
To get legal help in a child custody case, parents may speak with a professional who specializes in this legal field. A family law attorney may help parents understand how a judge will make a determination as well as how parents can best represent themselves in court.