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NJ Custody Factors

When considering a custody arrangement, Courts are seeking to determine what is in the best interests of the child. To better determine what is in a child's best interest, the Court can consider many factors, including:

  • the parents' ability to agree, communicate and cooperate in matters relating to the child;

  • the parents' willingness to accept custody and any history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse;

  • the interaction and relationship of the child with its parents and siblings;

  • the history of domestic violence, if any;

  • the safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse by the other parent;

  • the preference of the child when of sufficient age and capacity to reason so as to form an intelligent decision;

  • the needs of the child;

  • the stability of the home environment offered;

  • the quality and continuity of the child's education;

  • the fitness of the parents;

  • the geographical proximity of the parents' homes;

  • the extent and quality of the time spent with the child prior to or subsequent to the separation;

  • the parents' employment responsibilities;

  • and the age and number of the children. 

When consulting with an attorney, you should understand that he or she will be seeking information from you that relates to these factors in order to prepare your case. In the even there is a hearing, a judge will have these factors in mind, and so you should be prepared to present any information or facts which support why these factors are in your favor.

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