In most cases of child custody in Bergen County, only one parent has custody of the child. The child lives with the parent who has custody. That parent takes care of the child every day. The parent who doesn’t live with the child usually has parenting time or visits with the child.
Even if the child lives with the parent who has custody, that doesn’t mean the other parent has no say in how the child is raised. That depends on who the child’s legal guardian is.
Different Kinds Of Custody In Kentucky
When it comes to child custody, both parents are usually given equal rights unless a judge decides that this is not in the child’s best interest. When a child has joint custody, each parent has an equal say in how the child is raised. For example, they work together to make decisions about the child’s education, religion, medical care, and extracurricular activities.
But a judge could give only one parent custody. If you have sole custody, you have the legal right to make all decisions for the child without taking the other parent’s ideas into account.
For example, a judge might find a parent unfit if they have a problem with drugs or if they beat their partner. Most of the time, the judge gives sole custody to the other parent.
Joint custody and sole custody can be used for both the physical and legal care of a child. The place where the child lives and spends most of their time is called “physical custody.” Legal custody means the right to make decisions for the child.
Even when both parents have custody, one parent has the most responsibility for the child. That parent raises the child. A child can feel stable and safe when they have a primary residence.
The parenting plan shows who has custody of the child and when the other parent can see the child or stay with them overnight. The parenting plan lays out how the two parents will work together. If the parents can’t agree on the terms of the parenting plan, the judge decides what should happen based on what the child needs and what is in the child’s best interests.
How Do Judges Determine What Is Best For The Child?
When parents can’t agree on where their child should live, the judge listens to what both of them have to say. A child custody evaluator and a guardian ad litem may also give their opinions to the judge.
N.J.S.A. 9:24 says that when making a custody decision, the court must take into account the following:
- How well the parents can work together, talk to each other, and agree on things that have to do with the child.
- How many children each home has and how old they are
- How much and how well each parent spent time with the child before and after they split up.
- Where the child goes to school
- What each parent has to do and how long they work
- If a child has any special needs,
- The child’s choice is based on what’s right for his or her age
- How healthy are both parents are
- The stability of the home environment and how close the kids’ homes are to their own
- Any history of abuse in the home
- The safety of the child’s body
The judge may also think about other things when deciding what is best for the child. A judge puts the best interests of the child ahead of what the parents want. So, if a judge decides that it’s in the best interest of the child for the parent who has physical custody to have sole legal custody, the other parent won’t be able to make important decisions about the child’s life.
Support For Children And The Parent Who Has Custody
In the state of Kentucky, every parent is expected to help pay for their child. The state has rules about child support that help judges set payments that are fair and enough. Child support is based on the gross income of each parent, the number of children, and how much time each parent spends with each child.
The court can go against the rules if the judge thinks that the rules are wrong. For example, the judge could change the rules based on the needs of the child or the situation of the parent. In the final order, the judge must explain why he or she didn’t follow the child support guidelines.
Custody Controversies Are Hard On The Family
Sometimes it can be hard to share joint custody. Parents may not always agree on what is best for their children. They might think that having full control of their child is best for him or her.
Custody fights can take a long time and cost a lot of money. It’s possible that neither parent will be happy with the outcome. Instead, parents should usually work together to make a parenting plan that meets the needs of the whole family and is in the best interest of the child.
Negotiation and mediation are alternatives to going to court in child custody cases. A child custody lawyer could help you figure out how to settle a custody dispute in a way that is best for both you and your child.