New Jersey law generally allows both parents to seek physical and legal custody rights to their child after a divorce. However, a judge will only grant you these rights if doing so is in your son or daughter’s best interest. There are several proactive steps that you might be able to take in an effort to prove that you are fit to be your child’s primary caregiver.
What role do you currently play in your child’s life?
It’s important to show the judge in your child custody case that you consistently strive to be a good parent. Ideally, you will keep a record of every email, every phone call and every physical interaction that you have with your son or daughter. This will show that you actually care about being in your child’s life and are capable of providing for his or her needs.
Are you willing to work with your child’s other parent?
There is a chance that you will share custody with your former spouse. It’s also possible that the parent will be given visitation rights in the event that you are granted sole custody of your son or daughter. Therefore, you will likely need to work with them over the next several years. If you can’t establish a rapport with the other parent, a judge may determine that sole physical custody is not in the child’s best interest.
Make a good impression on the judge
It’s important that the judge believes you to be an upstanding citizen who shows respect for authority. This means that you should appear for all court hearings in a timely manner, wear clean clothes and address the judge in a polite manner.