Child Custody

In New Jersey, joint legal custody is the norm except when one parent is deemed unfit. Joint legal custody means that decisions related to health, education and welfare are made jointly, no matter how much or how little time the children spend with each parent. Parenting, however, can be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. Often, divorcing couples who agree on other aspects of their divorce settlement have a difficult time coming to terms regarding issues related to their children. Sadly, children are sometimes used as weapons in divorce, a practice that does no one any good. When decisions about the well-being of children are made in a level-headed and confident manner, both children and parents benefit.

Mediation can be an effective tool for settling issues related to parenting issues. For instance, if parents are having a difficult time determining where a child will live or how much time they will spend with each parent, a mediator can help the former spouses examine the pros and cons of various scenarios. Whether child custody issues are settled in court or through mediation, the well-being of the child is always the number one priority.

Once decisions are made, paperwork is filed with the court to ensure that the parameters of the settlement are enforceable. Should either parent disregard or violate the child custody settlement, he or she puts the current arrangement at risk.

If not handled properly, parenting issues can damage an otherwise amicable relationship between divorcing couples. Normally, child custody and parenting plans are incorporated in the Memorandum of Understanding, which is the document that memorializes all of the agreements made in mediation. Through mediation, Beverly and George, both accredited professional divorce and family mediators, help ensure that this aspect of divorce does not create situations that can adversely affect the children. Call them today at 973-539-5242 or send an email to