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Child Custody

Protecting the Best Interests of Children in Divorce

Child CustodyArguably 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.

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Jonathan W. Wolfe jwolfe@skoloffwolfe.com

Jon, the Managing Partner of the firm's family law and litigation practices, focuses on sophisticated business litigation and significant matrimonial disputes. A major portion of his practice is devoted to business valuation, the treatment of trust assets in divorce and the protection of non-marital assets.

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Gary N. Skoloff gskoloff@skoloffwolfe.com

Gary is one of the founders of Skoloff & Wolfe, PC and is a nationally recognized family law practitioner. He has argued many of the leading and most high-profile matrimonial cases in the state, including the well-known surrogate mother case of Baby M.

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Jane J. Felton JFELTON@skoloffwolfe.com

Jane has an extensive litigation background and has a love for “hard cases,” particularly those involving complex business interests, trust assets in dispute, and cases that raise unsettled questions of law.

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Rachel L. Friedman rfriedman@skoloffwolfe.com

Rachel L. Friedman joined Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C. as an associate in 2019. Rachel is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and has focused her practice on family law matters.

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Kimber L. Gallo kgallo@skoloffwolfe.com

Kimber understands that a divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences for a person to go through and is committed to ensuring that she helps her clients navigate the entire process from start to finish.

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Richard F. Iglar riglar@skoloffwolfe.com

Rick devotes his career to the practice of family law including divorce, custody, child support, alimony, domestic violence. His philosophy has always been to resolve every family law case with the priority on the client’s goals and the client’s financial and psychological needs.

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Beatrice E. Kandell bkandell@skoloffwolfe.com

Bea is a true counselor to her clients, working with them to understand the issues they confront and to identify their best path forward to achieve their goals.

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Andrew J. Rhein arhein@skoloffwolfe.com

Andrew Rhein joined Skoloff & Wolfe, P.C. as an associate in September 2019. Since graduating from law school, Andrew has focused his practice on family and matrimonial law matters.

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Richard H. Singer, Jr. rsinger@skoloffwolfe.com

Richard has represented a broad spectrum of individuals and has been involved in many complex financial disputes in the divorce context, including matters involving business owners, high-ranking executives, professional athletes and other celebrities.

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Barbara A. Schweiger bschweiger@skoloffwolfe.com

Barbara has solid experience in representing clients in the financial services, accounting, architecture, medicine, manufacturing, bio-tech, and pharmaceutical industries.

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Betsy W. Bresnick bbresnick@skoloffwolfe.com

Betsy handles all aspects of family law, including child custody, equitable distribution, alimony, protection of non-marital assets, and the preparation and litigation concerning prenuptial agreements.

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Hon. David J. Issenman, JSC (ret.) dissenman@skoloffwolfe.com

Judge Issenman, who served on the Bench from 1992 through 2012, retired as New Jersey’s longest sitting Family Division Judge. Judge Issenman heads the firm's mediation and arbitration practice.

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Thomas J. DeCataldo tdecataldo@skoloffwolfe.com

Tom focuses his practice on the area of family law and has handled a wide range of family matters impacting divorcing parties and their families. Mr. DeCataldo has successfully represented clients from all walks of life.

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Grant W. Waterson gwaterson@skoloffwolfe.com

Grant has devoted his professional practice to all areas of family law, including divorce, custody, child support, alimony, property division, premarital agreements and domestic violence.

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Allison P. Berecz aberecz@skoloffwolfe.com

Allison has experience in all areas of family law but particularly with respect to challenging custody and parenting issues and complex financial matters, both in the areas of support and in the division of marital estates.

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Patrick T. Collins pcollins@skoloffwolfe.com

Patrick is one of only four attorneys in New Jersey to have been qualified by the Supreme Court as both a Certified Civil trial attorney and a Certified Matrimonial Attorney.

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