In a New Jersey divorce case, decisions must be made regarding the legal and physical custody of a child. There are a number of different physical custody arrangements that may be in the best interests of a child.
New Jersey custody and the best interests of a child
Any child custody arrangement agreed to between parents or ordered by the court must meet a specific standard, according to New Jersey family law. The custody arrangement and parenting plan agreed to between parents or ordered by the court must also be deemed in the best interests of a child.
Common New Jersey joint custody arrangements
When parents have agreed to joint custody or the court has ordered such a custodial parenting plan, the physical custody arrangement can take a number of different forms. These forms include:
- Alternating weeks, which is a scheme by which a child stays in the home of one parent for a week and then switches over to the residence of the other parent the following week.
- Alternating weeks with a non-overnight midweek visitation (or parenting time), which is a plan where the child goes from one parent’s home to the other week by week but has a midweek visitation with the other parent during the weeklong stretch.
- Alternating weeks with an overnight midweek visitation, which is a scheme where the child goes from one parent’s home to the other week by week but has an overnight midweek visitation with the other parent.
- 2-2-3 rotation, which involves the child spending two nights with one parent, two nights with the other parent and then three nights with the “first parent” with the schedule shifting at the end of the week to allow the other parent to enjoy the three-day stretch.
Getting help with child custody
Child custody issues oftentimes prove to be the most contentious in a divorce case. The complexity and emotionality of custody issues work to underscore the benefits of retaining an experienced, skilled New Jersey divorce lawyer.