Years ago, many states subscribed to the legal philosophy of "tender years", meaning that courts would favor children spending time with the mother at young ages, believing that the children needed a mother's care to develop emotionally healthy behavior. Nowadays, we know that the best arrangement for any child is spending as much time as possible with both parents, and courts are now "gender neutral".
This is good news for fathers, but child custody and visitation issues may still be a little daunting, here are some tips to help you negotiate the best possible parenting time arrangement for you and your children.
Negotiate with Your Ex Outside of Court
Family courts look favorably upon couples who can discuss their issues and come to agreements without the intervention of a judge. After all, you are going to have to discuss many of your child's needs as they mature with your ex, you cannot rely on the courts to make all of your parenting decisions. If you are unable to come to a satisfactory agreement with your ex, consider hiring a trained mediator who can help you to find a happy medium before turning to the courts for help.
Remember The Courts Favor Both Parents Involvement
If your work schedule and living arrangement permits it, the courts will favor a 50/50 parenting time arrangement over anything else. If spending quality time with your children is important to you, it is very much within the realm of possibility to arrange something that works for you. But remember, your children come first. If your work schedule prevents you from a 50/50 arrangement, find something that actually works for both you and your children.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask for What You Want
Sometimes a divorce can lead individuals to feel as though their ex doesn't really listen to their needs, or simply isn't interested. If there is a certain custody arrangement that you wish to pursue, don't be afraid to bring it up with your Morris County family law attorney. Again, courts look favorably on a collaborative approach, so if you are unable to come to an agreement alone with your ex, hiring trained mediators can help.
Educate Yourself on Child Custody Types and Terminology
In most child custody cases, parents will share what is known as "joint legal custody". This allows both parents to be part of major decisions in the child's life, but can sometimes lead to conflict when you have a differing opinion on what is best for the child. Having "residential custody" means that your child/children live with you the majority of the time, but may still have visitation time with the other parent.
Get a Morris County NJ Child Custody Attorney
Asserting your legal rights as a parent isn't always easy. Before coming to any agreement, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced family law attorney. They can advise you on the laws regarding parenting time and custody, and help you navigate the legal system efficiently and in a way the ensures your interests are protected.
At the Morristown, NJ law offices of Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Bradley, we practice exclusively family law. This means we are always up-to-date on the changing landscape of divorce law, and we have the exclusive experience you need when negotiating your divorce settlement. We help clients across Morris County with matters such as child custody and visitation, division of assets, child support, alimony, dissolution of civil unions and domestic partnerships, domestic violence, and many other family law issues.
To schedule a cost-free consultation with one of our family law attorneys today, contact us online or through our Morristown offices at .