Protecting the Best Interests of Children in Divorce
Arguably the most difficult part of any divorce or separation is the impact it will have on the children. That’s why it’s critical to have an experienced family law attorney representing your interests and child custody concerns.
Skoloff & Wolfe knows the anxiety divorce can create for parents who are doing their best to protect their children. We do everything in our power to make the divorce or separation process as seamless as possible for our clients, and to minimize its impact on your children. When it becomes too difficult for a couple to remain in a marriage, we help our clients identify what is best for them and their children and work to achieve an outcome consistent with that objective.
How will Child Custody Work? Will One Parent Have Sole Custody, or will Custody Be Shared?
When going through divorce, parents will need to agree upon legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody determines which parent will make decisions for their children, while physical custody decides how the children’s time is to be divided among both parents.
In a typical joint legal custody arrangement following divorce, the parents will jointly decide major issues for the children, including such topics as medical, education, and other major considerations. In terms of physical custody, time is commonly split between parents under a variety of different approaches that make sense for the parents and children. Typical arrangements can run the gamut from an equal division of time between the parents, or one parent may have additional time with the children and be designated the parent of primary residence.
Factors that a court may consider include, but are not limited to the following:
- The preferences of children 12 years or older.
- Each parent’s home situation. Which home provides the most stable environment for the child?
- Parents’ employment status with consideration given to work schedules, travel, job stability, etc.
- How comfortably the child interacts with parents and siblings.
- The capacity of each parent to care for and raise the child.
- How cooperative each parent is with regards to the children’s well-being.
- The continuity of the children’s education.
- Practical considerations such as the proximity of the parents’ homes to each other.
In a sole legal custody arrangement, one parent is provided sole decision making for the children. While not as common in New Jersey as in other jurisdictions, New Jersey courts remain empowered to award sole custody when it is determined to be in the best interests of the children. Similarly, the court can restrict a parent’s parenting time, including terminating visitation or requiring supervised parenting time, when there is a concern for the child’s well-being when in that parent’s care. This can arise in situations involving physical or emotional abuse, drug or alcohol use, domestic violence, and other issues that could have a negative impact on the children.
Of course, all parties are better served by reaching an amicable resolution; and that is what we strive to achieve on behalf of our clients. However, not all divorce proceedings lead to an amicable arrangement. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced family law legal team like Skoloff & Wolfe arguing for your interests – and the interests of your children – before the court.
Don’t Make Custody Modifications Without Legal Help
In many cases, a divorce decree issued by the court is not the final chapter in a marriage story. Your needs and the needs of your children may change over time. In addition, enforcement issues may arise if one party is not complying with the terms of a divorce agreement or court determination. It is important that these issues are addressed with the benefit of lawyers familiar with these topics and that any changes to existing terms be appropriately memorialized.
Skoloff & Wolfe vigorously represents our clients’ best interests when it comes to navigating modification requests by the other party. As a leading matrimonial and family law firm, we are tenacious advocates in pursuit of the best possible outcomes for each client and the well-being of their family members.
If Divorce is Inevitable and You Have Questions About Child Custody, Contact Skoloff & Wolfe
We have decades of experience handling high-profile divorce cases for persons of high net worth and public stature. We work tirelessly to maintain our clients’ quality of life and everything that is important to them. To protect your interests and those of your children, call us at (973) 992-0900.