Whether you are unmarried or going through a divorce, child custody is an issue you will likely have to deal with as a parent. However, you do not have to deal with it alone.

At DiRienzo, DiRienzo & Dulinski, P.A., our lawyers are dedicated to helping you navigate the difficult issues of child custody and visitation. With nearly 15 years of experience, family law attorney Patricia A. Dulinski will carefully explain your legal rights so you can make informed child custody decisions ― decisions that are best for you and your children.

Understanding New Jersey Custody Laws

If you and your child's other parent are able to reach an agreement regarding child custody through negotiation, mediation or some other form of dispute resolution, a court will approve this agreed-upon custody arrangement as long as it is in the child's best interests. However, if you cannot agree, the court will decide for you.

While New Jersey courts can order either sole custody to one parent or joint custody to both, New Jersey law expressly states that, following divorce, a child should have frequent contact with both parents and that both parents should be encouraged to share parental rights and responsibilities. However, even if the court ultimately decides to give sole custody to only one parent, the other will likely still be entitled to visitation, which is referred to as parenting time under New Jersey law.

When deciding on which custody arrangement is best, the court's primary concern is the best interests of the child. Courts are free to consider several factors when determining a child's best interests, including:

  • The child's needs
  • The child's relationships and interactions with each parent and siblings
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate and communicate when raising the child
  • The relative parental abilities and fitness of each parent
  • The willingness of each parent to accept custody as well as any history in which one parent interfered with the custody rights or parenting time of the other
  • The preference of the child, but only if he or she is old enough to form an intelligent decision
  • The history of domestic abuse or violence, if any

It is important to note, however, that these are merely a few of the many factors a court may examine when assessing child custody. To learn more, it is best to contact an experienced attorney.

Your Child's Welfare Is Important, So Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation

If you have questions or concerns about custody and visitation laws in New Jersey and need to speak a child custody attorney, call DiRienzo, DiRienzo & Dulinski, P.A., today at 908-233-6700, or email us online. We offer FREE initial consultations and serve clients throughout Union County and the surrounding areas, including those in Westfield, Middlesex County and Morris County.