Child Custody for Unmarried Parents

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Facing a breakup is difficult. You should not have to worry about your children on top of everything else. I am Melinda L. Singer, Esquire I have been on both sides of divorce proceedings: both going through it myself and helping my clients get through it. Yet, what if a divorce is not involved? It can be even more complicated for everyone involved.

How Child Custody For Unmarried Parents Differs

The best interests of the child helps to establish what the parenting plan should be. You may be asked what kind of parenting time schedule you envision for your child with your ex. You may be asked about whether you agree to joint custody and overnight parenting time with the ex. There is an assumption in the State of New Jersey that both parents are entitled to be a part of the child’s life. The issue of physical custody and legal custody are two different legal concepts.

When determining what custodial arrangement will best meet the child’s best interests, the court is required to examine, at a minimum, the following fourteen factors listed in New Jersey statutes:

  • The parents’ ability to agree, communicate and cooperate when it comes to child-related matters
  • The parents’ willingness to accept custody, as well as any history of unjustified withholding
  • The child’s relationship with the parents and other siblings
  • History of domestic violence
  • Safety of the child and/or either parent from physical abuse
  • Preference of child when the court belows they have capacity to decide
  • Needs of the child
  • Stability of home
  • Quality and continuity of child’s education
  • Fitness of parents
  • Geographical proximity of parents’ homes
  • Extent and quality of time spent with child both before and after separation
  • Parents’ work responsibilities
  • Number of children and their age

In the state of New Jersey parents that are unmarried file an Application with the court to determine issues concerning custody, parenting time and child support. These filings can be extremely confusing, and that’s where I can help. There is a certain way to file these Applications so that the Court can best understand what you are seeking.

If you are in this kind of situation, I strongly suggest that you consult with an attorney who can help you.

If you file these documents on your own, you may not be able to obtain a Court Order that resolves the issues in a way that successfully finalizes the issues. My team is ready to help you should the need arise.

Speak With An Attorney To Learn More

Your children are your priority. To discuss your situation with a lawyer and understand more about what you and your family may be facing with child-related family law issues, call my Hackensack office at 201-870-0826, or send me a message through my online system, today.