Who decides child custody arrangements?

Child custody arrangements are either made by the spouses that are divorcing during mediation sessions or by a judge during litigation. During mediation, couples can meet with a neutral third party to make decisions regarding their marital issues. This can include a range of topics with child custody arrangements being one of them. Although it can be hard to decide this matter, couples must work with one another to come to a compromise. This should be done for the child’s sake. Their health and wellbeing should be the first concern. Of course, parents want to spend as much time with their children and be as involved as possible. However, they should try to organize a system where they both spend time with the children.

When judges make decisions in court, it can be out of the parents’ control. They consider many factors to come to decisions that put the child first. In their decisions, they make sure the child can get the parenting time they need from both spouses. The court wants to provide an open form of communication so that children can have both parents in their lives. However, if a parent proves to be unfit, the court will rule to protect the child from any harm.

What does a judge consider when deciding?

Judges decide on the final outcome of child custody arrangements in court after considering many factors relating to the child’s life and their parents’ lives. When a judge considers the arrangement, they make sure to take all factors into consideration to protect the best interests of the child. Some factors can include the parent’s inclination to accept custody, the child’s safety, the child’s needs, any domestic abuse in the past, the distance between the parents’ homes, the relationship the child has with each parent, the preference the child has when of a sufficient age, the stability of each home life and the ability of the parent to act in the child’s best interests.

Can arrangements be changed?

Since only the current circumstances are considered to decide child custody arrangements, there is the option to have it adjusted in the future. This can be due to a variety of reasons. Overall, a change in the custody arrangement should be for the benefit of the child.

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver & Simpson is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.